Bodies in Peru may return this week

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Bodies in Peru may return this week

CUSCO, Peru - The bodies of eight Koreans killed in a chopper crash in Peru could be flown home as early as this week as all of the victims have been identified by their families, officials said Tuesday.

Relatives of the eight Koreans visited a morgue in the southeastern city of Cusco, where they identified the bodies by their mobile phones, identification cards, pieces of clothing and other personal belongings, officials from the South Korean Embassy in Lima said.

The victims were among 14 people killed in a helicopter crash in the Andes last Wednesday while returning from a trip to a potential site for a hydropower plant near Mazuco in southeastern Peru.

The Koreans were employees of Samsung C&T, the engineering and construction arm of Samsung Group, the Korea Water Resources Corporation, the Korea Engineering Consultants Corporation and Seoyeong Engineering. Three Peruvians, one Dutchman, one Swede and one Czech were also killed in the crash.

“The Peruvian medical team has asked for additional dental records for four of the eight [Korean] victims in order to be absolutely sure, so we are preparing those documents,” the embassy official said.

“Once the team reviews the additional records, they will be able to write up their references.”

After completing the identification process, forensic experts will perform autopsies on the bodies as required under Peruvian law, the official added. That procedure is expected to be completed on Thursday, which will allow the bodies to be transferred to Lima and flown to Korea as early as this weekend.

The cause of the crash is not yet clear, although officials believe it was due to bad weather.

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