Heart-breaking scenes at Wenlock Hospital
Mangalore, May 23: A forensic team has arrived from Hyderabad to conduct DNA tests on the bodies that have been charred beyond recognition. The Air India (AI) officials said that its top priority was to provide relief to the bereaved families, complete the identification process, and hand over the bodies to their respective families for the final rites.
However, the number of bodies that need to be indentified with DNA tests still remains unclear because friends, relatives, and families of the victims are still trying to recognize their loved ones at the mortuary of Wenlock Hospital. The scene of grieving friends and relatives who had to undergo the trauma of examining several charred bodies to identify their loved ones was indeed heart-breaking.
The grieving families of the plane crash victims arrived at Wenlock Hospital on Saturday. They were heard complaining about the elaborate procedure involved in claiming the bodies. They were also seen going from hospital to hospital as the district administration had sought the help of private hospitals too.
The central government will provide 3-day interim visas to relatives who are abroad to arrive in India and claim the bodies. The airline will also operate additional flights to take the families of the victims.
Arvind Jadhav, the chairman and managing director of AI, visited the site of the crash and various hospitals besides coordinating relief and support measures with officials of multiple agencies. He was also seen consoling the victims.
The eight survivors of the crash, who are receiving treatment at different hospitals in Mangalore, have been declared out of danger. They had sustained injuries such as bruises, burns, and cuts.
Families of the Aircraft crash victims had difficulties in identifying bodies
Two families from Kerala claimed the same body as heart-rending scenes were witnessed at the Wenlock Hospital with grieving relatives and friends going through a traumatic experience of looking at scores of charred bodies to identify them.
Dazed relatives and friends of the victims of the Air India Express Boeing crash that killed 158 persons yesterday thronged the government Wenlock hospital and made efforts through the night at the mortuary to identity their near and dear ones who were burnt beyond recognition.
Doctors and nurses at the hospital were stretched to handle the situation and carried on bravely with the focus on conducting the post mortem of the crash victims quickly to prevent the bodies from deteriorating.
Several victims were from Kasaragod and Kannur districts of neighbouring Kerala.
Priority was being given to post-mortem as identifying the badly-charred bodies has become more difficult now with rapid decomposition, Superintendent of Police (Kasaragod) P Prakash said.
At the hospital, relatives of the victims were seen trying hard to identify their loved ones with their faces covered with masks.
Many bodies were charred in the fire that consumed the aircraft after it crashed yesterday, making it difficult to identify them.
An Air India representative said the carrier had made arrangements to provide free coffins to family members to shift the bodies has after identification.
Forensic experts from Hyderabad have arrived here for a detailed DNA examination of the bodies as part of the identification process.
All the eight survivors of the crash, being treated at various hospitals in the city, were out of danger. Most of them had suffered cuts, bruises or minor burn injuries.
In one case, two families from Kerala have claimed the same body, but authorities said it would be handed over only after a DNA test.