Families of unidentifiable victims in the Joburg fire urged to come forward with DNA samples

By Neo Poho

Family members of the 62 unidentifiable victims of a Johannesburg inner city building fire have been asked to supply DNA samples in a bid to identify the remains.

The fire, which broke out in the early morning hours of Thursday last week, resulted in the death of 77 people.

According to the Gauteng Department of Health, police have taken DNA samples from the 62 unidentifiable bodies, and 13 antemortem swabs have been taken from family members.

"Antemortem samples are only being taken from the siblings or the parents of the deceased and once the samples are taken from the deceased and the family members, they will be cross-referenced to match them as part of linking families with their deceased loved one," Gauteng Department of Health spokesperson Motalatale Modiba said.

So far, 69 families have reported their loved ones missing after the fire and only 12 bodies are identifiable while 10 families have claimed their relatives, seven of these bodies have been released to the families.

"Government continues to urge family members of the 62 unidentifiable deceased bodies from the Johannesburg inner-city fire to present at the Gauteng Forensic Pathology Service mortuary in Diepkloof to assist with the process of identification, which includes a DNA test," Modiba added.

Article Tags

City of Johannesburg

Marshalltown Fire

DNA Samples

Gauteng Department of Health


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