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Disaster Victim Identification by DNA analysis: The Tazreen Fashions Garment Fire Incident Experience in Bangladesh

Sharif Akhteruzzaman1*, Md. Mahamud Hasan2, Tania Hossain2, Ashish Kumar Mazumder2 and Pilu Momtaz2

1Department of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000. 2National Forensic DNA Profiling Laboratory, Dhaka Medical College, Dhaka-1000.

ABSTRACT: DNA-based identification is considered one of the most important tools in the event of mass fatality incidents. This technology not only provides the most powerful method for identification, but also reduces the risk of misidentification by visual methods or by means of associated documents found with the dead body. The use of biometric methods like, fingerprints, radiology or dental records are also limited in mass disaster situations involving mutilation of dead bodies. DNA-based identification therefore, remains the most reliable method for the identification of victims, where the dead bodies are highly decomposed, severely burnt or disintegrated into parts. DNA bases identification involves the comparison of DNA profiles of postmortem samples with those of antemortem DNA samples (personalized items e.g. shaving razor, tooth brush etc.) or by kinship analysis with living biological relatives. The identity of the missing person is finally evaluated by likelihood ratio (LR) calculations after DNA profile comparison. In this study, we report the DNA identification effort of victims in the tragic fire disaster at Tazreen Fashions Ltd., a garments factory located in Savar, Dhaka. Out of 59 unidentified dead bodies, the identity of 43 was confirmed by DNA analysis with the participation of 68 biological relatives representing 61 families. KEYWORDS: mass disaster, missing person, DNA-based identification, Short Tandem Repeats. CITATION: Akhteruzzaman, S., Hasan, M., Hossain, T., Mazumder, A. K. and Momtaz, P. 2015. Disaster Victim Identification by DNA analysis: The Tazreen Fashions Garment Fire Incident Experience in Bangladesh. Biores Comm. 1(2), 116-120.



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