Volume 46, Issue 3 (May 2001)
Tenerife Revisited: The Critical Role of Dentistry
The authors record the contribution of dentistry to the identification of victims of one of the most significant disasters in the history of aviation—the March 1977 collision of two Boeing 747 jumbo jets in the Canary Islands, which resulted in 583 fatalities. Dental identification was the primary method of victim identification because a high percentage of the bodies were severely burned. Virtually all aspects of the U.S. identification efforts have been reported with the exception of the valuable role of dentistry. The dental team's organization, methodology, and significant contributions to forensic dentistry and a variety of remarkable problems that the team encountered are documented.