Dubai: Dubai authorities confirmed Sridevi died due to “accidental drowning” in a bathtub, almost 40 hours after her death was announced by her family.
Family members had announced the death of the Bollywood legend on Saturday night and attributed it to a cardiac arrest.
However, following an autopsy and forensics investigation, Dubai Police said initial investigation showed that she had drowned after she lost consciousness in the bathtub in her room in Jumeirah Emirates Towers hotel where she was staying.
Sources had on Sunday told Gulf News that Sridevi had died after collapsing in the bathroom of the hotel.
Dubai Police sources told Gulf News that they had also found traces of alcohol in her body and this may have led to the accident. “The investigation is still going on to determine the circumstances surrounding the accident as the forensic report only says that she drowned,” an official said .
As first reported online by Gulf News, the death report issued by the Preventive Medicine Department of the Ministry of Health also cited “accidental drowning” as the cause of death.
The police said they were still trying to piece together the sequence of events and ascertain who had been with her prior to her death.
Following the issuance of the death certificate, the Dubai Media Office tweeted that the case was referred to the public prosecution for further investigation.
“Dubai Police has transferred the case to Dubai Public Prosecution, which will carry out regular legal procedures followed in such cases,” it stated.
A chief prosecutor told Gulf News that in such accidental death incidents, the results of the post-mortem and forensic examination reports are referred to the Public Prosecution as part of routine law enforcement procedures.
“The papers are [then] revised by the prosecutors of the jurisdiction where the incident happened. An official order to hand over the body of the deceased to the family or relatives is issued shortly after that.”
In case of any suspicion of foul play, prosecutors carry out detailed investigations and decide on law enforcement procedures accordingly, the chief prosecutor said.
In an earlier interview to Indian media, India’s Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri had said that they had got clearance from Dubai authorities to repatriate Sridevi’s mortal remains.
When Gulf News contacted him later, he clarified that his quote was relevant at that point of time.
However, given the later developments (of the case being referred to the Public Prosecution), “the repatriation issue remains open-ended,” Suri said at around 5.45pm on Monday.
He added that the Indian Embassy was in talks with the Dubai authorities to get clearance and was hopeful it would happen by Monday night.
At the time of going to press, there was no confirmation about the release of Sridevi’s body for embalming and subsequent repatriation.
The mortal remains were expected to be flown home in a private jet.
Sridevi had flown into Dubai last week for the wedding of her nephew Mohit Marwah with Antara Motiwala, the niece of Tina and Anil Ambani . She was accompanied by her husband Boney Kapoor and younger daughter Khushi Kapoor. The wedding took place in Ras Al Khaimah, but she moved into Jumeirah Emirates Towers hotel following the event to stay on in Dubai.
Although Sridevi had mentioned in her earlier interviews that she was leading a very healthy life with exercise, balanced meals and yoga, there was widespread speculation in the mainstream and social media about several cosmetic procedures she may have undergone after she made her comeback in 2012 with the movie English Vinglish.
It is said she underwent as many as many as 29 procedures on her face, nose and lips. She was reportedly under the treatment of a plastic surgeon in southern California and was allegedly taking diet suppressants and metabolism-boosting pills.
Dubai doctors opined that such pills in combination with alcohol could have lead to heart arrhythmia triggering a fainting spell and causing her to accidentally drown.
Sridevi death: What we know so far
- Sridevi’s death occurred due to “accidental drowning” in her hotel room’s bathtub following loss of consciousness, according to Dubai Police.
- Dubai Police transferred the case to Dubai Public Prosecution, which carries out regular legal procedures followed in such cases.
- Typically, in cases involving accidental death, the post-mortem and forensic examination reports are referred to the Public Prosecution, which are then reviewed by the prosecutors of the jurisdiction where the incident happened.
- An official order to hand over the body of the deceased to the family or relatives is issued shortly after that.
- According to officials, the investigation is still going on to determine the circumstances surrounding the accident, as the forensic report only says that Sridevi drowned.
- Traces of alcohol were found in her body and this could have led to the accident, they said. The police are trying to piece together the sequence of events and ascertain what exactly happened.
- Sridevi was staying at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai and her death was announced at around 11.30pm on Saturday night.
- The actress, her husband Boney Kapoor and their younger daughter Khushi Kapoor were in the UAE along with other members of the extended family to celebrate the wedding of her nephew and actor Mohit Marwah.
- Pictures of the grand wedding celebrations at the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah were a rage on social media last week.
- After the nearly week-long wedding ceremonies got over, Sridevi moved to the Dubai hotel from Ras Al Khaimah, while her husband and daughter reportedly flew back to Mumbai.
— Gulf News Report