|Six months on, Bangladesh yet to identify 165 factory victims
Bangladesh has not identified the final 165 victims of the Rana Plaza garments factory collapse, an official said. Their families still cannot be compensated six months after the deadly disaster that killed 1,135 people, mostly women.
DNA samples were not properly collected from the bodies.
The identity of 322 people could not be immediately confirmed after collapse of the complex outside Dhaka, where workers stitched clothes for top Western retailers, AFP reports.
Their bodies were too badly damaged.
Amid fears of an outbreak of disease, officials buried them in a state graveyard in Dhaka after taking DNA samples.
``Of the 322 people, we have now identified 157 victims by matching their DNA samples with their parents, siblings and children,'' said Sharif Akhteruzzaman, head of the National Forensic DNA Profiling Laboratory.
The lab would now try to re-analyze DNA samples of the remaining 165 victims, but Akhteruzzaman said he was skeptical of success since samples from bones and teeth were not properly taken.
“The quality of their DNA samples is substandard. It's going to be an extremely tough job to re-analyze the remaining 165 people,'' he said, adding the lab was now using software supplied by the US government.
Bangladeshi and international labor unions have deplored the government, factory owners and Western retailers for not swiftly and adequately compensating victims and their families. The government has said it has paid some money to families of 800 victims, which includes 40 survivors who lost limbs. But authorities have held back compensating the rest, citing a lack of identification, a task made more difficult by inadequate payroll lists kept by factory managers.