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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:00, August 18, 2005
French FM says identification of victims in Venezuela crash difficult
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French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy on Wednesday told journalists that it was a difficult task to identify the victims in the Colombian jetliner crash in western Venezuela.

"The conditions in which we are recovering the remains signify a difficult task in recognizing and especially a difficult task in identifying the victims," he said.

Douste-Blazy said around 60 bodies had been transferred to a morgue in the nearby Venezuelan city of Maracaibo.

"Given the conditions in which the accident occurred and the state in which the remains were found, the identification process will probably take some time," he said.

Fifteen experts were sent to the French Caribbean island of Martinique to gather samples and information from the families of those killed, he said.

He added that France would provide support for the relatives and"provide for a trip to Venezuela for those who wish to go."

According to Douste-Blazy's office, the foreign minister is expected to accompany a group of victims' families to Venezuela in the coming days.

All 152 French passengers and eight Colombian crew members died when a West Caribbean Airways jet McDonnell Douglas MD-82 crashed Tuesday near Venezuela's border with Colombia, said sources with France's civil aviation authority.

Source: Xinhua

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