KUALA LUMPUR: The victims of the Pusat Tahfiz Darul Quran Ihfaqiyah fire were burnt so severely that DNA tests are required to identify them.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the authorities will take DNA samples from parents of the children and pair them with the victims.
“Most of the victims were burnt badly to the extent that it is difficult to ascertain their identities.
“There is a need for DNA tests as it’s difficult to identify them,” he told a press conference at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital today.
He said the process of collecting DNA samples are currently underway.
Dr Subramaniam noted that the process will most likely take several days. He gave his assurance that the health authorities were working at maximum pace.
Subramaniam clarified that 23 people were killed in the fire, including two of the school wardens.
Seven fire victims are being treated at the KL Hospital. Of the seven, six are students while another is a Keramat resident who came to assist the victims during the incident.
“Four of them suffered serious injuries,” he said.
The ministry, he said, will offer psychological support to the families of the victims. He said the victims’ families were understandably traumatised by the tragedy.
"The ministry is working with the Federal Territory Religious Department (JAWI), Social Welfare Department, Psychology and Counselling Department, psychiatrists from around the Klang Valley, police, Civil Defence Department and non-governmental organisations to help the families.
“We will discuss this in cabinet, on how to ensure that these schools, run by private groups, NGOs and autonomous bodies, are safe."