Coroners having tough time identifying victims burned beyond recognition


Dozens of victims from the east Attica wildfires remained unidentified on Friday as the majority were burned beyond recognition, making it that much harder for authorities to pin down the exact number of people missing from Monday’s deadly disaster.

Coroners are collecting DNA samples and dental records from survivors with missing relatives in the hopes of finding matches, while rescuers continued to scour fields, burned houses and the coast in the search for dozens of people reported missing in the seaside town of Mati and other affected areas. Germany has sent a team of specialists to Athens to help with the operation.
“The procedure is difficult, harder than that of other mass disasters which we have dealt with in the past as a forensics department,” coroner Nikolaos Kalogrias toled Reuters on Thursday. “Here, the main cause of death was burning, in most cases the complete burning (of the body), so identification is very difficult.”  

The Greek Health Ministry, meanwhile, said that 51 adults and four children were being treated for burns and other injuries at various Athens hospitals, with 11 of the former still in critical condition.