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Thane: ‘May take years to identify Dombivli blast victims’

Updated on: 14 June,2024 07:23 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Eshan Kalyanikar |

Eight bags containing charred body parts of labourers killed in last month’s incident lying in Kalyan hospital, death toll could rise

Thane: ‘May take years to identify Dombivli blast victims’

Damage caused by the boiler blast at MIDC Phase II in Dombivli on May 23. Pic/Satej Shinde

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Thane: ‘May take years to identify Dombivli blast victims’

As body parts of those killed in the Dombivli chemical factory blast last month remain at Kalyan’s Rukminibai hospital, Ulhasnagar Crime Branch officials said on Thursday that it may take months, or even years, to identify the remains. This comes just as the body and parts of one of the victims of this blast were claimed late Wednesday evening, following another fire and subsequent explosion in the area earlier that day.

The police stated that the death count as of now is 13. Ashok Koli, senior inspector of the Ulhasnagar Crime Branch, said, “Four people were identified earlier. The current data is based on blood samples matched from nine other people with their relatives.” He added that the relatives of these nine victims had arrived in Mumbai from places such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand during the initial days of the probe.

Rukminibai hospital, which is run by KDMC
Rukminibai hospital, which is run by KDMC

The body parts currently at the hospital include but are not limited to teeth, hair, skull, fingers, parts of the legs and jaws, which are charred and have not matched the samples taken from relatives so far. “There are no matches found for these parts. We will have to wait for a couple of years to see if any more relatives come forward. The death toll can then rise in the future,” Koli said.

There is a caveat, as Koli noted, “It is also very likely that these are parts of the same people who have been identified but are damaged beyond any conclusive identification.” Dr Purshottam Tike, chief medical officer at Rukminibai hospital, said, “The body and the broken part of the leg of the deceased were claimed on Wednesday.”

There were 27 bags of body parts in total, of which 19 have been handed over to the relatives, while eight are still at the hospital. “There are multiple possibilities for this situation.  Either DNA reports for these parts are pending or samples have not been taken from their relatives,” Dr Tike said. He added, “Most were migrant workers, and it is likely that some of their families may be unaware even to this date that their kin has died in this tragedy. There is no certainty how many people were killed in that blast; it could be 13, as the current data suggests, or it could be 15 or even a little more.” 

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