HAVANA.- The Cuban Institute of Legal Medicine (IML) announced on Sunday the completion of the identification process of the 110 victims of the Boeing 373-200 that crashed on May 18 near the José Martí International Airport.

In spite of the complex work involved, due to the trauma caused by the fall of the aircraft, to which the effects of the heat and the flames were added, this Saturday night the absolute identity of each of them was established, Sergio Rabell Piera, director of the IML, reported in a press conference.

Rabell Piera attributed the fact to the joint work of forensic experts from his institution, the Ministry of Public Health, the Directorate of Criminalistics and other combined forces from the Ministry of Interior.

However, he clarified that the participation of the family members was decisive in each case due to their contribution of basic description data, as well as photos and documents that, together with the recognition of clothing and components of clothing, among others, allowed the actions to be properly guided.

He added that information from the detailed analysis of the video at the time of the incident and images recovered from the cell phones of some of the passengers and even descriptions of the persons who had been in contact with them before the start of the flight were also taken into account.

The collective evidence of the experts in the fields of anthropology, dentistry, traceability and forensic biology, including DNA investigation, made it possible to know who they were, he explained.

In total, 67 were from Holguín, 21 from Havana, three from Granma, three from Santiago de Cuba, two from Matanzas, two from the Isle of Youth and one from Las Tunas, seven from Mexico, two from Argentina and two from Western Sahara.

The speed of his individualization had a lot to do with the experience of the Cuban team that moved the remains in less than 24 hours, as well as the expertise of the experts and fellow criminologists, Rabell Piera said in response to a question from the Cuban News Agency.

This fact is considered a true scientific feat due to the high qualification çof the country's professionals and their institutional capacities.

The latter had the support of all the institutions, agencies and organizations, the provinces where they resided and the diplomatic representations of the nations involved, which made it possible to obtain the identity of the deceased in just eight days.

The remains of the bodies had been handed over to their families to decide on their final destination, the principal director of the Institute of Legal Medicine also said, reiterating his condolences.

The accident occurred on Friday, May 18, when the Boeing 737-200 of the Mexican company Damojh, rented by Cubana de Aviación, dropped to the ground just after it took off from the José Martí International Airport.

There were 113 people on the aircraft, including the crew, but three who initially survived had already been identified.

Mailén Díaz Almaguer is still in the hospital, reported in extreme critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit of the General University Hospital Calixto García.
Only a few days ago, Gretell Landrove Font and Emiley Sánchez De la O died in the same place, despite the efforts of the multidisciplinary team in charge of their care.