Barge tragedy: Cops go for DNA testing of 30 bodies to establish identity

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Mumbai, May 22 (PTI) Struggling to establish the identity of 30 of the 61 victims of P-305 barge tragedy, police have initiated the process of conducting the DNA testing of the bodies, an official said on Saturday.

A Mumbai police spokesperson said the Navy has so far recovered 61 bodies from the Arabian Sea and handed them over to the city police.

Barge P-305, which housed personnel engaged in maintenance work of an offshore oil drilling platform of state-run oil and gas major ONGC, sank on Monday evening off Mumbai coast during the cyclone. The barge had gone adrift in the cyclone fury before sinking.

“Police have handed over the bodies of 28 victims to their families after post-mortem. However, the identity of 30 victims is yet to be established…While some bodies are decomposed, some others have deep injuries and therefore they are beyond recognition,” the official said.

In view of this, police have decided to get the DNA testing of the bodies done, he said.

Accordingly, the blood samples of the deceased and their immediate relatives are being collected and sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory at Kalina in Santracruz here, he said.

“After the samples are matched, the bodies will be handed over to the respective family members,” he said, adding that the DNA sampling process is expected to complete in the next three days.

Besides this, RT-PCR test to ascertain whether these victims had COVID-19 infection, was also conducted on them, he said. PTI DC NP NP

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