Kerala temple fire: DNA tests begin on unclaimed bodies

Thiruvananthapuram, April 13 (IANS) Authorities on Wednesday started taking samples for DNA tests from unclaimed bodies which perished in the devastating fire at a temple on Kerala on April 10, officials said.

As many as 113 people have been killed, 21 remain missing, and 350 were injured in the blaze that was set off by a fireworks display at the Puttingal Devi temple at Paravur town of Kollam district.

There are 13 unidentified bodies — two at the Medical College Hospital here and the others at Kollam — and samples from them were taken by police for DNA tests to the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology.

M. Radhakrishna Pillai, director of the institute, said they were prepared to go to Kollam to collect the blood samples of those who have lost their relatives or whose relatives are missing.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after visiting the temple site and the victims on Sunday, asked Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to see that all efforts are made to ensure that due justice is given to the unidentified bodies.

Officials told the media here that the samples for DNA tests are taken when the autopsy is done and these are kept in sealed packets.

After the tests, the results are matched with the blood samples of the living family members, and the judiciary is informed about the results first.

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