Specialists sent to NZ to help identify quake victims

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, March 2, 2011
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China's Ministry of Public Security has dispatched a team of specialists to New Zealand to help identify the bodies of Christchurch earthquake victims, the ministry said Wednesday.

The team of five Chinese forensic specialists and DNA technology experts left Beijing Wednesday afternoon, the ministry said.

A 6.3-magnitude quake hit New Zealand's second largest city, Christchurch, last week. The death toll stands at 159 and is expected to rise.

Under the coordination of the New Zealand government and the Chinese embassy, the team will compare distinguishing features, DNA samples, and visual and video data, among other methods.

Team leader Min Jianxiong said DNA identification would be the preferred method as eight days had passed since the quake and the bodies might have been affected by local environment.

Min, a forensic pathologist, said transport problems in the quake area would limit the use of large equipment.

Min participated in the identification work after the Sichuan earthquake in southwest China in 2008 and the Haiti quake in 2010.

"Our team will spare no effort in assisting the New Zealand police," Min said.

The team was sent at the request of the New Zealand police, the ministry said.

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