Only six Abaco storm victims ID’d; Dorian’s death toll climbs to 56

Only six deceased storm victims from Abaco have been identified to date, according to Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands.

Forty-seven people from that island died as a result of the hurricane, officials have said. Some of them died after they were transported to New Providence.

All but one of the nine victims from Grand Bahama have been identified, according to the minister.

Police reported yesterday that the death toll from Dorian climbed to 56, but more than 600 people are still listed as missing.

In a press release, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) noted that the Royal Bahamas Police Force uses four methods when identifying bodies: facial identification, fingerprints, DNA and dental.

Facial recognition occurs when facial features are still intact and relatives can easily recognize their loved ones.

Fingerprints are used when fingerprints of the deceased are still accessible. When fingerprints are taken, they are inserted into the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) for comparison.

NEMA said: “In cases of advanced decomposition, the confirmation of identity will be done through DNA profiling analysis. This requires the collection of blood, tissue, bone or tooth from the remains to be compared to controlled samples from relatives.”

Dental methods are used in cases where there are skeletal dental remains that can be compared to dental records.

NEMA added: “Another form of identification can be done through the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) with a Black Notice that circulates internationally. [This] information [includes] fingerprints, DNA, dental and facial identification on unidentified bodies.”

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