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DNA experts arrive in Mangalore to identify charred bodies

May 23, 2010 09:21 IST
A team of experts arrived in Mangalore on Sunday morning from Hyderabad to conduct DNA tests to help in identification of bodies charred beyond recognition in the Air India Express plane crash.

Some 115 bodies have been identified so far, deputy inspector general of Mangalore, Gopal B Hosur, told PTI.

In the country's worst air disaster in a decade, 158 people died when the Mangalore-bound Boeing 737-800 flight from Dubai overshot the runway and burst into flames at Mangalore's Bajpe airport. Eight persons survived.

The bodies of all the victims were recovered on Saturday night. Relatives of those killed have gathered at Wenlock Hospital and are trying to identify their loved ones.

Meanwhile, Directorate General of Civil Aviation officials are also at the crash site trying to recover the cockpit voice recorder, commonly known as black box, as well as the flight data recorder.

The analysis of the data from these equipment could give vital clues to the cause of the crash.

The team that arrived on Saturday, also undertook the inspection of the runway at the Bajpe airport, sources said.

As the Air India Express flight from Dubai came into land at the Bajpe airport at around 6.30 am on Saturday in cloudy weather but good visibility, it went beyond the touchdown area, broke up and caught fire even as some passengers jumped out.

The aircraft, carrying 160 passengers and a crew of six, hit a concrete localizer  instrument, a navigation aid, and fell into a ravine 200 to 300 metres deep. The passengers included 23 children, including four infants.

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