KUALA LUMPUR: The victims of Thursday's religious school fire can only be identified after DNA samples are obtained from family members, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam (pic).
He said the bodies of 23 victims had been brought to Hospital Kuala Lumpur's forensic unit for post-mortem.
"Many of them were burnt beyond recognition so we need to get DNA samples of their parents to determine their identities.
"We are working full time and hope to complete the process in a couple of days time," he said after visiting families of the victims.
Dr Subramaniam said that 14 students had escaped the fire, either by climbing down the drain pipe or jumping from a window, with half of them sustaining injuries in the process.
"Some suffered broken and fractured bones, injuries to their lungs and liver and some of them require surgery, while two of them are in the burn unit," he said.
Dr Subramaniam said the victims families also suffered psychological trauma following the incident.
"We will give them the psychological support they need to weather through this," he said.
At least 22 students and two teachers died in the 5am fire at Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah tahfiz in Jalan Datuk Keramat.