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air crash, burns, identification, injuries, mass disaster



  1. Herald D'Souza, Deepak MBBS, MD
  2. Vaswani, Vina Ravi MBBS, MD, MPhil, MA
  3. Badiadka, Kishor Kumar MBBS, MD


ABSTRACT: On the 22nd of May 2010, a Boeing 737-800 aircraft crashed at the Mangalore International Airport killing all but 8 of the 166 people on board. One of the most important roles of the forensic investigation is to identify the victims of the crash. This task was made even more difficult because of the fact that most of the bodies were charred beyond recognition. Four bodies were transported to a mortuary to undergo a postmortem examination, whereas the rest of the victims were examined elsewhere. There is a wide range of methods to identify victims of mass disasters ranging from simple facial recognition to highly complex DNA comparisons. This paper highlights the experience and methods used to describe various types of injuries associated with a plane crash and the methods and techniques used to successfully identify the four victims of the crash. Implications for forensic nurses are discussed.