Interpol has launched the world’s biggest ever forensic operation to help identify victims of the Asian tsunami. A team of 40 detectives, doctors and pathologists from 20 countries have begun work to unravel the wealth of information from more than 5,000 bodies.
The centre, set up on the Thai island of Phuket, will act as a giant database, cross-referencing dental records, fingerprints and DNA from corpses against similar data from countries where people are listed as missing. Senior fingerprint expert, Mark Branchflower, says the process may involve matching post mortem prints with anti-mortem prints taken from people’s homes. With a further 3,000 people still unaccounted for, the painstaking process is likely to take many months to complete.