LAST_UPDATESun, 22 Apr 2018 2pm

Identification Of Bodies Will Take Two Days - Dr Subramaniam

Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

KUALA LUMPUR -- The process to identify the 23 victims killed in the fire which broke out at Tahfiz Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah  in Kampung Datuk Keramat here today, is expected to take at least two days, says Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

He said this was because a DNA matching test from the blood samples of parents and next-of-kin was required before the identities could be confirmed.

"The Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) unit is currently taking samples from parents before being checked, and then matched with the body for identification. We're now using all our expertise and hope to settle this as soon as possible," he told a press conference after visiting survivors of the incident at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL).

Dr Subramaniam said the tragedy claimed the lives of 21 tahfiz students aged 11 to 17, and two teachers who were also wardens at the centre. Fourteen students survived.

The bodies were sent to the National Forensic Medicine Institute at HKL.

Dr Subramaniam said seven injured victims were being treated at the Emergency and Observation Ward, comprising six students and a civilian who was helping out during the blaze. Four of them sustained serious injuries while three had light injuries.

"Some have multiple injuries involving broken bones, fractured femurs, pelvic, lungs, liver...different types of injuries.

"We're managing the situation. Some are in the ICU, some in the burns unit. We'll do our best to save them," said the minister, adding the ministry would provide counselling services to the families of the victims.

"We will give psychological guidance so that they can get through this tragedy. I pray they have the strength to get through this difficult time," he said.