Sakinaka blaze: Cops await DNA reports to put names to charred faces
Even as kin and friends of identified deceased, who knew the others killed, have given authorities their names, police don't know who is who as bodies are burnt beyond recognition
A day after a fire broke out in a Sakinaka-based snack factory - Bhanu Farshan - that killed 12 workers, four bodies are still lying at the post-mortem centre of Rajawadi Hospital. The deceased have sustained near 100 per cent burns, making it impossible to recognise them. The police have sent their DNA samples to Kalina forensic lab and informed their relatives, who are on their way to Mumbai.
Bhanu Farsan factory in Sakinaka collapsed due to the ferocity of the fire that engulfed it. Pics/Datta Kumbhar
Taking DNA help
"Relatives of eight victims have claimed the bodies and taken them for the last rites. They were the ones who gave us the names of the four lying unclaimed, as friends of the victims knew each other. But we don't know who is who," said a medical officer from Rajawadi Hospital. The names of the four are Shivkumar Rampat Kauhar, Bhola Arjun Rajbhar, Ramnaresh Gisai Gupta, and Jitendra Chotelal Rajbhar. Their fathers are en route to claim their bodies. Hospital Superintendent Dr Vidya Thakur said their duty was done and it was now up to the police to identify the bodies and hand them over.
A police officer said, "We can't hand over the bodies until we put the right name to each; their DNA samples have been sent for forensic analysis. It might take some time, their kin will have to wait, but we have requested the lab to give us the reports on priority." Senior inspector of Sakinaka police station Avinash Dharmadhikari confirmed the development. The incident occurred around 3.45 am when the workers were fast asleep. From the 20 people in the building, only eight managed to escape.
Twelve people were dug out from the remains and taken to Rajawadi Hospital, all charred beyond recognition. The condition of two bodies was so horrid that doctors couldn't even identify their gender. Thakur said, "We had to rely on belongings to identify the bodies. On some, the identification marks were visible and that helped." The police have found that the building's occupant, Ramesh Bhanushali, had developed the factory over the last two-and-a-half years. During questioning, he said he had all the required permissions, but the papers were burnt in the fire.
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