Thursday, December 15, 2011

DNA tests confirm 22 on ill-fated flight

Source: The National, Thursday 15th December 2011
TWENTY-TWO passengers who died in the Airlines PNG Dash 8 crash in October have been positively identified by DNA testing.
And the repatriation of their bodies will now depend on the coroner who this week was given results of the DNA tests.
Chief of police forensic science services Supt Philip Rambaliku said the identification was carried out by the disaster victim identification team from the Australian federal police.
Those identified are: Jeffery Ako, Simon Tiriman, Christine Matlam, Natasha Bonga, Miria Renagi, Samuel Bid, Debura Rabura, Cicilia Wata, Chloe Matlam, Paul Konia, Jenny Lyne Bal, Lukas Bako, Thomas Kuekue, Saron Doma, Benedict Kanaiu, Michael Hampri, Bill Ase, Philip Barnabas, Robert Sanglela, Mark Save, Bernard James and Langa Divu Mova.
He said the results were sent to the police criminal investigation department team headed by Stephen Yalamu with specific instructions to deliver the file to the coroner, because the case was still before the coroner.
He said the repatriation of the bodies would follow as soon as the co­roner approved the warrant to have the bodies buried. The families are waiting for the warrant.
Rambaliku said new blood samples had to be collected from two other passengers, Jeffery Bula and Ian Gagi.
“The first samples taken did not match and so we had to collect new ones,” he said.
He said the samples were collected last week and would be sent shortly to Canberra for testing.
“The forensic team in Port Moresby will keep working until the others are positively identified and cleared including Coltide Bula and Nathan Bonga,” he said.
He said David Olobai was likely to be the last body to be identified as he had no family members alive to collect DNA samples from.
Rambaliku denied that the remaining five yet to be identified could be cited as “missing persons”.
“That is not true. I believe the hospital will have to put aside the remaining bodies until further tests are carried out and results are given,” he said.
Yalamu confirmed receiving the file and delivering it to the coroner on Monday.

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