Burial for 422 tsunami victims

PHANG NGA: Three religious ceremonies – one Buddhist, one Christian and one Muslim – were performed October 16 in preparation for burying 422 unidentified tsunami victims in Baan Bang Muang Cemetery.

Pol Col Khemmarin Hassiri, Superintendent of the Thai Tsunami Victim Identification unit, told the Gazette, “These 422 bodies have not been claimed and we have no information about them, so we will bury them at Baan Bang Muang Cemetery. Normally we would return them to the relatives, but we are unable to identify the families of these victims.

“As a part of this process we will place each body in a bag with a code number, and put that number on a plaque on the outside of the coffin so we can go back and identify any of the victims if we need to later. We are also going to submit DNA samples from each body to Chiang Mai University for analysis.”

Col Khemmarin said the victims will be the first buried in the new 15-rai cemetery. “We will finish burying them by the beginning of December; we must have completed this by the time the cemetery opens on December 26,” he said.

“We are still trying to identify them, but we must keep the bodies in refrigerated rooms until they are ready to go into the graves,” he added.

Phuket News
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