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Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2010 Sep;31(3):264-8. doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e3181dfc9b4.

A multidisciplinary approach to the investigation of a collapsed building.

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1
Department of Forensic Pathology, University of Foggia, Ospedale Colonnello D'Avanzo, Foggia, Italy.

Abstract

Investigating the collapse of a building poses multiple and complex forensic challenges. Large numbers of specialized personnel and equipment are required, as are the combined technical skills of many different kinds of forensic investigators. Forensic pathology teams are integral to these efforts. This report describes the investigation that occurred after a building collapsed in southern Italian location. Several families were still living in small, and abandoned building built in the early 20th century. The buildings were located over cellars 3 meters underground, known locally as "the caves." Eight people were found dead under the debris of one of the collapsed houses and 6 were brought out alive. A team of forensic pathologists and engineers was appointed to investigate the causes of death and of the collapse, respectively. A complete autopsy was performed in every case, along with radiologic assessment and toxicological analysis. Autopsy findings were coded using the Abbreviated Injury Scale and the New Injury Severity Score. Systems for victim identification, arrangements for human remains, management of dead bodies, evaluation of the different patterns of injuries and, finally, detailed identification of the cause of death all played an important role.

PMID:
20498592
DOI:
10.1097/PAF.0b013e3181dfc9b4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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