The Bangladesh government sent a medical and CID team to accelerate the process of improving the health of the injured and to identify the deceased in the US-Bangla plane crash. The team reached Nepal on March 15.
The ambassador of Bangladesh in Nepal Mashfee Binte Shams disclosed the matter to the media. The CID officials returned to Bangladesh on March 22 following the return of medical team a few days earlier.
CID official Assistant DNA Analyst Ashraful Alam Ashraf spoke to the Dhaka Tribune about the medical and CID team’s activities and how they handled the situation.
Ashraful Alam Ashraf said: “We divided our team in two parts and carried out the task. We had nine people on the team in total and they relentlessly worked to deliver the best possible results. Six of the members were working to ensure the best treatment for the injured Bangladeshis and the other three were working to identify the deceased.
“Coordinating the technical aspects was the major task of each team. Two first councilors from the Embassy of Bangladesh in Nepal were in charge of the project. We had to identify the Bangladeshi people who died in the crash and hand over their bodies to the families as soon as possible. If there were any shortcomings, the team was instructed to make the authority aware of it. ”
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The team that was in charge of forensic identification of the deceased and dealing with issues regarding the hand-over of the bodies consisted of CID Assistant DNA Analyst Ashraful Alam Ashraf, Additional Superintendent of Police Abdus Salam and Associate Professor of Forensic Medicine department Dr Sohel Mahmud.
The six team members in charge of taking care of the injured looked after the surviving victims, kept updates on their health condition and brought to attention any needs they might have.
The CID also worked to prevent complications regarding matters of the law, and collecting possible forensic evidence. Aside from that, they helped identify the bodies as swiftly as possible.
Assistant DNA Analyst Ashraful Alam Ashraf also said: “We made all preparations for identifying the bodies. The CID lab in the country was especially prepared. This accident occurred outside of Bangladesh; many state related matters had to be taken care of. Our goal was to protect the interest of our country. We worked with the Nepali forensic team keeping this in mind.
“Interpol has specific guidelines for identifying bodies in situations like this. The team of forensic specialists determines the course of action according to the type and condition of the body. Analyzing the body before and after post mortem was the first part of the process. However, some bodies were excessively burned, so this procedure took more time.”
Dhaka Medical College Associate Professor Dr Lutfar Kader Lenin told the Dhaka Tribune: “We worked under the leadership of Mashfee Binte Shams. Identifying the bodies was not an easy task; we found a body that was completely burned, but we managed to identify it by just the belt on the waist.
“We also advised the doctors in Nepal on treating the injured. We found a student of ours in Nepal. His name is Prayash; he helped us communicate with the senior doctors and helped them treat the wounded.”
Dhaka Tribune managed to reach Nepal’s Teaching University Hospital’s forensic medicine doctor Tulsi over the phone. He said: “It was a good decision to send the Bangladeshi team to Nepal. They helped us conduct many difficult tasks. The collaboration was smooth; we coordinated nicely. We managed to identify the bodies fast and make a swift report.”
US-Bangla marketing support and PR section General Manager Kamrul Islam said: “Representatives from Bangladesh Aviation, Nepal Aviation, International Aviation and Canadian Company Bombardier worked together.
Two cockpit voice recorders and flight data recorders of the black box have to be analyzed thoroughly. Making reports based on them will take some time.”
The US-Bangla flight BS-211 was carrying 71 people, including four cabin crews. Of the passengers, 36 were from Bangladesh, 33 from Nepal and one each from China and the Maldives.
Among the dead, 26 were Bangladeshis, 22 Nepalese and the other was Chinese.