eISSN: 1689-1716
ISSN: 0324-8267
Archiwum Medycyny Sądowej i Kryminologii/Archives of Forensic Medicine and Criminology
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SCImago Journal & Country Rank
3/2018
vol. 68
 
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abstract:
Review paper

When genetic tests fail – an attempt to identify victims of gas explosion caused by damage to a high-pressure gas pipeline, with reference to problems related to the retrieval of ante-mortem dental records

Katarzyna Wochna
,
Jarosław Berent
,
Anna Smędra

Arch Med Sadowej Kryminol 2018; 68 (3): 188–200
Online publish date: 2019/02/20
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The paper illustrates a difficult case of personal identification of the remains of two construction workers, severely charred and calcined because of very high temperatures caused by an explosion of a high pressure gas pipeline. In both cases, genetic and odontological examinations were conducted for the purpose of victim identification. Genetic tests made it possible to identify the remains of one of the casualties. In the other case, however, identification was impossible on account of complete destruction of the victim’s genetic material, which is typical of long-term exposure to extremely high temperatures (similar to cremation). Ultimately, the remains were identified on the basis of odontological examinations following the retrieval of the victim’s ante-mortem dental records. The presented case shows that dental examinations can be an alternative to genetic tests and dactyloscopy. Unfortunately, the value of forensic odontology is Poland is still underestimated. The paper also addresses the issue of retrieval of ante-mortem dental records in Poland.
keywords:

odontological identification, extremely high temperature, DNA degradation, calcined remains, ante-mortem dental records

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