Sadness writ large as bodies of Dubai bus crash victims repatriated


Sadness writ large as bodies of Dubai bus crash victims repatriated

Dubai - Four mortal remains of Indian expats - out of the 12 Indians who died - had already been repatriated to their home countries.

By Sarwat Nasir

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Published: Sun 9 Jun 2019, 11:00 PM

Scores of relatives, friends, social workers and volunteers gathered outside Dubai's embalming unit in Muhaisnah on Saturday to assist in the repatriation of some of the 17 victims who died in a horrific bus crash on Thursday.
At Press time, four mortal remains of Indian expats - out of the 12 Indians who died - had already been repatriated to their home countries. Social workers told Khaleej Times that five of the bodies were being repatriated from 8.40pm to 3.20am, while the remaining three would be buried or cremated in the UAE.
On June 6, an Omani bus driver crashed into a road height restriction barrier near Al Rashidiya Metro station. The barrier was 2.2 metres high, and the Dubai Police said the driver wrongly entered the road that was allocated only for cars.
The Oman-registered bus is operated by Mwasalat and was used to transport passengers between Dubai and Muscat.
Out of the 31 people on board, 15 people died on the spot, and 16 were rushed to the hospital, according to statements from the police and Mwasalat. Two more died later, raising the total death toll to 17. Six passengers received treatment for injuries, with one being critically injured. Eight passengers were treated and discharged.
Indian expat Ravi K was outside the embalming unit yesterday to help with the process of repatriating the body of his former neighbour, Rajan, to Kerala.
"Rajan was my neighbour in Kerala. It's really devastating to see what has happened - so many innocent lives were taken away. These people had families, young children," Ravi said.
"Rajan's wife and young daughter live back home. I cannot even imagine what they must be going through - it's really very sad."
Social workers and volunteers also came together to ensure that the repatriation and the completion of legal documents are taking place promptly.
Naseer Vatanappally, a social worker who has teamed up with the Indian Consulate in Dubai, told Khaleej Times that they're helping speed up the process of issuing death certificates, death notifications, passport and visa cancellation, embalming services, and repatriation. "It's a difficult time for everyone, and we want to help them out," he said.
Another social worker, Fanaz Thalassery, said the Indian Consulate has been helping with the issuance of important documents to ensure that there's no delay in the repatriation process.
"Almost everything is being taken care of by the consulate, including issuing emergency passports, exit documents and other paperwork that was required to repatriate the bodies," he said.
Paperwork, costs taken care of: Indian envoy
The Consul-General of India in Dubai, Vipul, has said the expenses of embalming and all paperwork were being taken care of through the consulate's Indian Community Welfare Fund. He added that Air India offered to do the repatriation of the bodies free of cost.
Vipul said: "It was a horrific accident. Twelve Indians died in this very unfortunate happening. All the social workers, especially Nasser, has been working with us, and the consulate officials have been there throughout. I visited the hospital and police station the night this incident happened. We are very thankful to the Dubai Police and hospital authorities, they've done the formalities and paperwork very quickly.
"The expenses of embalming and paperwork will be borne by the consulate through the Indian Community Welfare Fund. The consulate is there to help, both in terms of ensuring that the remains are swiftly repatriated."

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