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Thailand Govt orders DNA tests for tsunami victims

The DNA tests were to be performed on all corpses as an extra precaution that they were correctly identified.
PTI | By Agence France-Presse, Phuket
UPDATED ON JAN 10, 2005 04:54 PM IST

Thai authorities, faced with the daunting task of identifying some 5,300 people killed when the tsunami hit, on Monday ordered DNA tests on all the dead, including those already buried.

The interior ministry ordered DNA tests performed on all corpses that had not previously undergone them as an extra precaution that they were correctly identified, officials said.

"All bodies, who were not DNA tested, will be unearthed so DNA samples can be taken, and microchips will be implanted to identify who they were," a rescue official in the hardest-hit province of Phang Nga said.

The tedious and time-consuming process could take months as experts sift through thousands of pieces of data. People, who report a missing relative, must give a DNA sample that experts will match with DNA of the victims.

The killer waves ripped through Thai beach resorts and fishing communities on December 26. About half the confirmed dead are foreign holidaymakers.

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