SURABAYA – The Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) Unit of the East Java Police is collecting DNA samples from the next-of-kin and family members of the passengers and crew of a crashed AirAsia Indonesia aircraft for identification of the bodies.
Head of the East Java DVI Unit, chief commissioner Budiyono, said the collection of data on the DNA samples had been completed for 15 of the 93 families so far.
“The SOP (standard operating procedure) for collection of the data calls for obtaining the photographs, medical records and DNA samples as well as details of physical features of the victims.
“This is vital to facilitate the identification of the victims and the process of handing over the bodies to the families as quickly as possible,” he said at the crisis centres at Terminal 2 of the Juanda International Airport, 40 km from here.
Budiyono said the unit was ready to receive the bodies of the passengers and crew at the parking lot of the airport.
The bodies are of the 162 passengers and crew of AirAsia Indonesia Flight QZ8501 which crashed in the Java Sea in waters close to Pangkalan Bun in Central Kalimantan during the flight from Surabaya to Singapore on Sunday.
The passengers on the flight comprised 149 Indonesians, three South Koreans, one Singaporean, one Malaysian and one Briton. The crew comprised six Indonesians and one French.
Local media reported that six bodies – three male and three female, including one stewardess, were in the process of being airlifted from Pangkalan Bun to Surabaya, one hour’s flight away.
Bad weather and waves as high as three metres were hampering the process of locating and retrieving bodies, they reported.
Budiyono said the bodies would be kept at the Bhayangkara Hospital here, about 30km from the airport, for the post mortem and identification.
He said the hospital was well equipped, complete with air-conditioning, to handle the bodies.
“We have also enlisted the assistance of several quarters who have offered their services, such as doctors, forensic experts and volunteers,” he said.
Budiyono dismissed the possibility that the crisis centre at the airport would be relocated to the Bhayangkara Hospital, but said everything depended on situations.
Bernama found out that about 130 ambulances had been placed on standby at the airport to transport the bodies to the hospital as no hangar had been made available for keeping the bodies.
Adjacent to the crisis centre, medical staff were obtaining the finger prints and biometric data of the next-of-kin and families of the victims.
The passengers on Flight QZ8501 comprised 149 Indonesians, three South Koreans, one Singaporean, one Malaysian and one Briton. The crew comprised six Indonesians and one French. – BERNAMA