Burial by numbers in the "earthquake cemetery”
Authorities in Antakya have begun burying the unidentified bodies of those who lost their lives in an "earthquake cemetery" and assigning them numbers after a massive twin earthquake killed thousands of people in the country.
The area designated by the AFAD coordination is excavated by and the numbered graves are interred with prayers. In the area set up with construction machinery, areas have been created for corpse delivery, corpse washing and the masjid. The bodies, after their autopsies have been completed at the hospital, are taken by transport vehicles to the 'earthquake cemetery" for burial.
AFAD: DNA’S, FINGERPRINTS AND PHOTOS ARE TAKEN BEFORE BURIALS
To speed up burial and avoid confusion, tombstones are numbered instead of named, and bodies are delivered to those who wish to be buried in different cities, authorities said.
No official statement was made as to how long the burial identification procedures were conducted. An earlier AFAD statement announced that the bodies of those who died in the earthquake and could not be identified would be buried after a 24-hour waiting period and after DNA samples, fingerprints, and photographs were taken in accordance with religious regulations.
THERE WILL BE EXHUMATIONS JUST LIKE IN GOLCUK EARTHQUAKE
Ahmet Hilal, chairman of the Association of Forensic Doctors (ATUD), said the decision is positive for public health but will entail years of legal wrangling. Hilal said, "Of course, these bodies must be identified and buried. But there are many burials, and it is not possible to identify them all. Because there is no one to hide these bodies, and there are no cold storage facilities.
"Just like the Golcuk earthquake, there will be exhumations," he added.