Government has started Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) tests on 20 passengers who were burnt beyond recognition following a horrific accident that happened when a South Africa-bound Proliner Bus was sideswiped by a haulage truck and caught fire in Mvuma on Wednesday night.
DNA testing is a powerful tool for identification.
Government pathologist Dr Tsungai Victor Javangwe told bereaved families at Gweru Provincial Hospital yesterday that they will take the DNA samples to the lab to help identify the charred remains of their loved ones.
Dr Javangwe said the relatives could not get the results instantly, as it was going to take long for them to positively identify the bodies, considering the state of the remains, as well as the processes of conducting the tests.
“The reason we came here is: Government tasked us to take DNA samples from the bereaved families so that even if a person was burnt beyond recognition and we are not able to identify them through our eyes, we can identify them through this DNA test,” Dr Javangwe told the relatives.
“It takes a lot of time depending on the number of people, and that they will try to match the samples from the living relatives and the remains. There is no specific time. This is because it’s not an easy process, but we will try and assist you as quickly as possible and I urge you to be patient.”
Dr Javangwe said some families whose relatives could be identified through physical features and jewellery might be able to collect the bodies once the identification process was completed.
The accident occurred at Nyamatikiti River near Chaka Business Centre at the 218km peg along the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway on Wednesday night at around 9pm.
The bus had 60 passengers, with police saying the driver of the haulage truck was likely going to be charged with culpable homicide for the 20 deaths