KARACHI - Sindh police and the provincial health department are in possession of 33 cross matched DNA reports (six conducted at Punjab Forensic Science Agency and 27 at Sindh Forensic DNA & Serology Laboratory- Karachi University) of the 97 victims of PIA flight 8303 that crashed here on May 22.

“Forty two (42) other, presently underway at SFDL, are expected to be received by Monday,” an official said Saturday. He said that18 of the bodies were taken away, without sample collection for DNA, by their respective family members from the morgues operated by Edhi Foundation and Chippa Welfare Trust.

Remains of three passengers retrieved in recognizable condition was further cited to be handed to their close relatives on the very next day of the incident while one identified through dental implant was also received the same day by the concerned family.

In a nutshell cross matching of all bodies, with the except of 18 taken away forcefully by their own relatives, is almost complete and the complaints on part of bereaved could be attributed to their confusion about the  two laboratories of the country, one being comparatively new while other with a well established reputation.

“They apparently are keen to have a fresh cross matching and reason is best known to them,” said a doctor associated with Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Center.

“We after collecting samples had handed no less than 48 bodies to their relatives during first few days while those that were extremely difficult to be identified could be gradually collected, after extremely sensitive DNA assessment by their next of kin,” elaborated police surgeon Dr Qarrar Abbasi.

Dr. Ishtiaq, a known expert in genomic medicine and also extensively involved in the procedure said cross matching was ensured through profiling of reference samples comprising that of parents, children and in case of non availability of the two also that of siblings.

Absolute care was said to have been made to ensure foolproof assessment so that associated sensitivity may not be compromised at any level and also during times to come.

Representatives of the provincial departments, SFDL and also of PIA appeared to be equally committed to extend all assistance and also to allay any fear or concern of the bereaved families passing through a tough time.  They in response to a query also denied that families may have been asked for or charged for cross matching by any of the institutions.