Mobile Morgues, Rapid DNA ID System Requested as Death Toll Mounts in Camp Fire

Anthropologists from Cal State Chico and the University of Nevada, Reno with expertise in identifying human remains were helping in the grim search effort into mass casualties in Paradise, where at least 42 have died in California’s worst fire.

In addition, the Butte County Sheriff’s Department has requested 150 additional search and recovery workers, two military mobile morgues and a rapid DNA identification system.

One search crew checking addresses of people reported missing found a body on the front steps of a burned-out trailer in the Ridgewood Mobile Home Park. Team members spent the rest of the day picking their way through debris, turning over metal frames and shattered furniture.

By the time the hearse arrived, the body was in a blue bag. Victims’ remains were found in cars and homes, in Paradise and surrounding communities, authorities said.

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