Bodies from crash to be exhumed

15th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

15 June 2007, PARAMARIBO, Suriname (AP) - Forensic experts from the Netherlands will dig up a common grave in Suriname in hopes of identifying the remains of nine people who died in the worst air disaster in the history of the former Dutch colony, a Dutch diplomat said Thursday.

15 June 2007

PARAMARIBO, Suriname (AP) - Forensic experts from the Netherlands will dig up a common grave in Suriname in hopes of identifying the remains of nine people who died in the worst air disaster in the history of the former Dutch colony, a Dutch diplomat said Thursday.

Remains from the nine victims will undergo DNA analysis, said Ralf van der Beek, Dutch Embassy spokesman. They died in the 1989 crash of a Surinam Airways jetliner, which was en route from Amsterdam when it crashed in fog near the country's airport, killing 176 people.

"After all these years, the surviving relatives still have a desire to lay the remains of their loved ones to rest in a personal grave," van der Beek said.

The bodies, which forensic officials could not identify nearly 20 years ago, will be exhumed in coming weeks. Van der Beek could not provide a date of when the Dutch experts would arrive in Suriname, but said it would be soon.

The nine, whose names are engraved in a headstone that lies behind a monument to the 176 victims in the capital of Paramaribo, ranged in age from 23 to 67. The bodies to be exhumed were from Surinamese and Dutch citizens, van der Beek said.

The Dutch government agreed to send forensic experts to Suriname after receiving a request from several surviving relatives, who could not afford private DNA analysis to identify their loved ones, van der Beek said.

Manodjkoemar Doekaloe, a Surinamese man whose sister, Chanderwatie Doekaloe, was traveling from the Netherlands to attend his marriage when the plane crashed, said the Thursday announcement was a welcome surprise.

"Our family had given up all hope to have some kind of formal closure in the death of my sister," said Doekaloe, who was not one of the relatives who requested the DNA analysis.

[Copyright AP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

0 Comments To This Article