DNA report next month
The DNA report of the unidentified victims of Rana Plaza tragedy will be completed by the middle of next month.
Prof Sharif Akhteruzzaman, technical adviser of National Forensic DNA Profiling Laboratory (NFDPL), yesterday informed The Daily Star about the expected time of completion, as a team of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) visited the lab on the day.
The FBI team brought “Combined DNA Index System (CODIS)” software, which has a capacity to compare and match around two million DNA data at a time.
The US government provided the software to Bangladesh free of cost through a bilateral agreement between these two countries.
The other two Asian countries currently using this software worth around Tk 1 crore are Singapore and South Korea.
"The software is not sold commercially. It is only given to countries through bilateral agreement," Akhteruzzaman added.
Rana Plaza, a building that housed five garments factories in Savar on the outskirts of the capital, collapsed on April 24. About 1,132 people died, hundreds of others became disabled, and many went missing in the tragedy.
According to the Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Savar, Kamrul Hasan Mollah, the estimated number of missing victims as per the list drawn up after the completion of the rescue operation on May 14 stood at 321.
According to the NFDPL, DNA samples of 321 dead bodies and blood samples of 555 close relatives of the victims, who reported that their dear ones went missing in the accident, had been collected.
A source at the lab told The Daily Star that decalcification, extraction and analysis of the Rana Plaza DNA samples was complete. "We will just input the data, and the software will help the comparing process."
The FBI team would also provide lab officials with training for three to four days on the use of the software, Akhteruzzaman said.
Following the Rana Plaza disaster, Prof Akhteruzzaman repeatedly mentioned that the software the NFDPL was using then was not advanced enough to compare the huge number of DNA data.
After the Tazreen fire accident on November 24 last year, DNA samples of 59 bodies and blood samples of 47 close relatives were collected by the lab. But 12 bodies remain unidentified till date.