The untold stories of a forensic investigator from PK-8303

Two days after the PIA PK-8303 airplane crashed in Karachi on May 22, killing 98 individuals, the National Disaster Management Authority acquired in contact with the University of Health Sciences in Lahore. It mentioned: Send Dr Humayoun Temoor. 

Temoor was mentioned to be the one one who may inform the useless by their enamel. 

His specialised department of forensics known as odontology. It makes use of dental data and proof equivalent to even selfies to establish a physique. Teeth occur to be probably the most cussed half of the human physique and survive when maybe nothing else does. This is why the science of odontology has been utilized in air disasters in Europe and even within the 2005 tsunami.

Dr Temoor got here to Karachi and managed to begin work with the dental data of 40 victims and positively recognized 13 of them. SAMAA Digital requested him concerning the particulars and the difficulties he confronted.

In his opinion there was a grave lack of expertise in catastrophe administration. “I wound up my operation as many stakeholders jumped in to join the forensic investigation and the police had no control,” he mentioned. “A mess was created. The people were not trained.” 

There have been a number of methods through which the duty of managing the post-disaster formalities was bungled. For instance, Dr Temoor got here to Karachi to discover as much as three tags on one physique. “Multiple tagging suggests that there were doubts,” he explains. “It means you did the wrong tagging the first time round and when the tagging proved wrong then, you did it again.”

Then there was the best way through which the households have been handed over the our bodies. You need to have past affordable doubt that a physique belongs to an inheritor. If you go by the identification pointers of Interpol, the worldwide felony police group, the primary desire needs to be fingerprints, the second to enamel construction and the third and final to DNA. 

There are 4 standards; doable, possible, past affordable doubt and exclusion. “We did not declare identification on possibility or probability,” he mentioned. 

The closing phrase on the 4 standards, based on the police guidelines, has to return from the investigating officer. The IO has to evaluate which course of of identification was appropriate. It is on that foundation that they’ve the prerogative handy over a physique to a household.

Dr Temoor mentioned that DNA is the least most popular methodology of identification as a result of it is pricey and takes time. “DNA anaylsis gives identification in percentages,” he mentioned. “In the world of forensic science, we use the word DNA for a gimmick.”

If you acquire a pattern for DNA then it’s a must to confirm whether or not it even accommodates DNA and verify its high quality. Then it’s put in an analyzer and assessed whether or not the pattern matches a pattern extracted from the physique of a sufferer’s household.

In the PK-8303 case, these sufferer identification protocols weren’t all the time adopted. Eight our bodies have been taken by their households on the premise of a bodily examination alone. Dr Temoor claimed that although he recognized 13 our bodies with dental data, the police launched them on the foundation of DNA studies as an alternative. In some instances, the IO validated Dr Temoor’s studies with the DNA studies. There was even a household who had obtained a physique recognized by way of DNA however wouldn’t depart till the odontology report affirmation. 

Dr Temoor did, nonetheless, discover that for what it’s value, the University of Karachi’s International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences was working systematically. “And this was the only reason they were taking time to deliver the DNA reports,” he mentioned. There was a lot of stress because the households have been determined to bury their family members. 

Mirza Waheed Baig’s household thought they may establish him by his footwear.

Dr Temoor recalled the case of sufferer Mirza Waheed Baig whose household was claiming his physique on the premise of a shoe. Dental data indicated, nonetheless, that the physique was not Waheed however that of a Pakistan Air Force Flying Officer, who was additionally carrying a comparable pair of footwear. “[Waheed’s family] kept coming again and again and insisting we hand over that but I kept requesting them to go to the police,” mentioned Dr Temoor. 

Waheed’s household was resourceful and Dr Temoor was put underneath immense stress. But then the household of the PAF flying officer introduced the shoebox with its serial quantity. “I peeled off the shoe to check the serial number and it proved that the shoe belonged to the flying officer.”

Dr Temoor’s recounting of his expertise offers a sobering reminder that rather more work must be carried out to organize establishments for such disasters. He argues that Sindh wants a well-maintained chilly storage system and public mortuary the place our bodies may be held for even a month in order that, within the occasion of such disasters, households are usually not put by way of any extra of an ordeal.

Dr Temoor was additionally disgusted with the best way the disaster was dealt with by completely different departments. The police engaged within the transport of the our bodies had made a WhatsApp group for communication. “An ASI shared with me a voice note in which it was said, let the doctor from Lahore do his work but we will not hand over any body based on his report.” 

That was the final straw. “I informed the University of Health Sciences VC about this and left for Lahore.”

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