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DNA tests for Madrid air victims
Madrid, Aug 22 (Agencies):
Published on 23 Aug. 2008 1:12 AM IST
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DNA tests will be needed to identify many of the 153 people killed in Wednesday's plane disaster at Madrid airport, the Spanish government says. Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega said experts had so far only been able to identify 59 people using fingerprint analysis. The air disaster, in which a departing jet caught fire after veering off the runway, was Spain's worst in 25 years. Vigils were held on Thursday to remember those who died. Spanish media reports suggest an as-yet unreleased video taken by Spain's Civil Aviation Authority (AENA) shows the plane taking off and then crashing moments later just past the runway at Madrid's Barajas airport. AENA officials quoted in El Pais newspaper suggest the jet may have suffered a chain of faults, and only caught fire after it hit the ground, contradicting witness accounts that an engine was ablaze during take off. It will be weeks, maybe months, before the truth is known about what caused the plane to crash, the BBC's Johnny Dymond reports from Madrid. There has been much criticism of the flight operator, Spanair, but there is little to back it up at present, our correspondent says. Until the contents of the flight recorders are analysed, the final minutes of the flight will remain a mystery, he adds. The remains of the dead have all been taken to a mortuary at Madrid's Ifema congress centre, which was used to collect victims of the Madrid train bombings of 2004. "All of them have undergone autopsies," said Ms Fernandez de la Vega. "The investigation commission is working very intensively, and hand-in-hand with foreign experts." Of the survivors of the Spanair flight JK 5022 crash on Wednesday, several remain critically ill.

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