Iwate kin given wrong bodies of disaster victims

Kyodo

The bodies of eight victims of last year’s earthquake and tsunami disasters were returned to the wrong families in Iwate Prefecture during the chaotic aftermath, according to police.

The mistakes occurred because police were unable to conduct DNA analysis or check dental records to identify the bodies before returning them, relying instead on physical features such as surgical scars if families insisted the victims were their relatives.

“We feel responsible for the mistakes,” an Iwate Prefectural Police official said. “We will continue utmost efforts to identify bodies.”