Connect with us


TTVI center to close before December 26



TTVI center to close before December 26 | Thaiger

PHUKET: The Chalong-based Thai Tsunami Victim Identification (TTVI) center will close some time before the anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami on December 26, police say.

Pol Col Khemmarin Hassiri, Superintendent of the TTVI’s Thai disaster victim identification (DVI) unit, said that a written order from the Cabinet to close the center was received by the TTVI following a decision made at the September 6 mobile cabinet meeting Phang Nga.

The exact date that the center will cease operations has not yet been announced.

The TTVI was tasked with identifying 3,777 corpses from the six tsunami-affected provinces. So far 2,363 have been identified: 619 Thais and 1,744 foreigners, Col Khemmarin said.

Profiles for the remaining 1,414 bodies that include DNA and other forensic data have been drawn up, but have yet to match up with information submitted by relatives.

The easier cases of identification, such as those based on matching dental records, have largely been completed and the focus of the work has now largely shifted to DNA and fingerprints, he said.

Col Khemmarin said the TTVI estimates that about 500 of the as yet unidentified corpses are those of Burmese workers.

Last December 26 there were about 64,000 registered Burmese workers in the six provinces hit by the tsunami. Thus far only 30 Burmese have been identified, using computer fingerprint matching done in Australia, he said.

All Burmese legally working in the country are required to leave a set of fingerprints as part of the registration process.

“As for the 30 Burmese workers we were able to identify, we notified the Burmese Embassy in Bangkok and are still awaiting a reply,” he said.

Despite fingerprints and information provided to the TTVI by the International Organization for Migration and other agencies, identifying Burmese victims has proved a daunting task.

“Some victims may have been working in Thailand illegally; others who were working legally and survived the disaster may have gone back to Myanmar without declaring themselves,” he said.

Corpses that remain unidentified when the TTVI closes will be turned over to the Justice Ministry’s Central Institute of Forensic Science, which will decide where to keep the bodies when the TTVI morgue in Mai Khao closes.

Col Khemmarin said the identification process has been as stringent as possible in order to prevent the wrong remains being given over to relatives.

He cited the example of a woman from Chiang Mai’s Fang District who came to Phuket and positively identified a set of remains as those of her younger sister. She then returned to Fang and got a death certificate, allowing her to collect the body.

When the woman returned to Phuket, she didn’t have the 50,000 baht necessary to transport the body home and asked for the TTVI to hold on to the corpse while she tried to raise the funds.

A subsequent re-check of fingerprint data later revealed that the body was not that of her sister after all.

“We don’t recheck the information in order to find fault with people or punish those who may have been involved in the misidentification, only to ensure that the work is as clean and complete and possible,” Col Khemmarin said.

“Even though we have no past experience to use as a basis of comparison in evaluating our work, I can say that we worked hard. Foreign DVI teams rotated in and out on a three-week basis, but the Thai staff have been working here non-stop since February 3,” he said.

He said that the TTVI’s database would be available to the Central Institute of Forensic Science to make the handover as smooth as possible.

The two agencies were involved in a bitter dispute in early February when the Police ruled that the TTVI would take over the work of identifying suspected Thai victims in Phang Nga, where the work had previously been led by forensic pathologist Dr Khunying Porntip Rojanasunan.


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand7 mins ago

Thai Airways releases details of winter flights itinerary

Thailand8 mins ago

Tourist Attractions To Open For Longer Hours | GMT

Property News29 mins ago

Phuket real estate shifts tide in wake of urban flight

Sponsored17 seconds ago

International money transfers made fast, secure and transparent with DeeMoney Neo App

Road deaths16 hours ago

Dead woman in car pulled out of Kanchana Buri canal

World16 hours ago

As Iran revolts, president vows to deal with protests

Election17 hours ago

POLL: Top 2 picks for prime minister are “nobody” and Ex-PM’s daughter

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
China17 hours ago

No word from China on Xi military coup whispers

Pattaya17 hours ago

Intoxicated Pattaya tourist allegedly punches elderly Australian man in face

Thailand18 hours ago

Thai TikTok star detained at Singapore airport over huge amount of cash

Kanchanaburi19 hours ago

Kanchanaburi school director found dead in canal

Pattaya21 hours ago

Small children in Pattaya learn to get help when locked in hot cars

Chiang Mai21 hours ago

Heavy rains collapse part of Chiang Mai’s ancient city wall

Events22 hours ago

6-hour whiskey drinking contest draws criticism

Pattaya23 hours ago

Pattaya official urges mayor to expand legal nightlife zone

Thailand23 hours ago

Things you can do in Thailand during the rainy season

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11