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U`khand tragedy: Blood samples of relatives to be collected

Last Updated: Monday, June 23, 2014 - 22:12

Hyderabad: For identification of victims of last year`s Uttarakhand floods tragedy, city-based Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) and Uttarakhand government are trying to contact relatives of missing persons and obtain blood samples for DNA matching.

CDFD had received biological samples of 550 bodies (over 5,000 are believed to have perished in flash floods) and blood samples of 200 claimant relatives from Uttarakhand government since September for identifying victims through DNA profiling, CDFD Director J Gowrishankar said on Monday.
CDFD had completed DNA profiling of 400 of these samples. In 150 cases, profiling could not be done because of the decomposition.

"Preliminary analysis of results (after match-making with blood samples of relatives) has been able to establish identity of 20 victims," he said.

Gowrishankar said CDFD and Uttarakhand government would soon put out an advertisement to reach out to relatives of the thousands of missing individuals to give blood samples for DNA testing and matching with DNA profiles of 400 victims.

"We expect relatives of over 5,000 missing individuals to be tested for DNA and then we can match that with the profiles of 400 victims," he said.

"After obtaining blood samples of relatives, we can complete the identification of the all 400 victims whose DNA profile we have completed."
According to him, the Uttarakhand Government recovered about 600 bodies and since September 2013 CDFD received 550 biological samples (from these bodies) for DNA testing.

To describe the magnitude of the work in the aftermath of
the tragedy in Uttarakhand, Gowrishankar said in 2012-13 CDFD had handled only 186 cases of DNA profiling, against these 550 cases from the flood tragedy.

Relatives of the missing can write to the Uttarakhand Government for giving blood samples. They would get an instruction and an "FTA" card on which blood can be collected and sent back to Uttarakhand Government.

After that, identification of samples can be completed within two months, Gowrishankar said.

He also said that CDFD would be using, from August, `CODIS` software, to be procured from the United States, developed by its investigation agency FBI.

It would enable speedy matching of DNA profiles.

First Published: Monday, June 23, 2014 - 22:12
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