Dubai: The repatriation of the mortal remains of Indian victims of Thursday’s bus crash in Dubai has begun. While seven are being repatriated on Saturday, four are scheduled to be sent home early Sunday.
The family of one of the victims, meanwhile, decided to hold the funeral in Dubai.
Twelve of the 17 passengers who died after the Muscat-Dubai bus crashed on to a height barrier were identified as Indians.
Consul General of India in Dubai Vipul told Gulf News on Saturday morning that the mortal remains of the Indian victims will be repatriated free of cost by Air India in cases where their employers are not bearing the cost.
“The Consulate has waived the fees for emergency certificates as most passports [of victims and family members] are either damaged or blood-soaked. We will be bearing the cost of embalming of the bodies also wherever it is necessary,” he said.
The Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) was being used for extending support to the victims and families.
Emergency certificate is the travel document issued in the absence of a valid passport.
The Consulate was kept open on Friday to issue these certificates and these were handed over to the families at the Al Baraha Hospital where the death certificates were being issued by the local authorities, Vipul said.
He confirmed that the mortal remains of one of the victims, Jamaludeen Muhammadunni Arakkaveettil were flown home to his hometown in the south Indian state of Kerala in the wee hours of Saturday.
Since his case was handled by his colleagues and friends, officials said they would be reimbursed.
Vipul said bodies of all Indian victims except one have been scheduled to be flown home on Saturday and Sunday on Air India and Air India Express flights.
“Parents of the victim Roshni Moolchandani are flying down from India this afternoon. The family has decided to conduct her funeral here in Dubai,” he said.
Moolchandani had reportedly been to Oman to celebrate Eid holidays along with some friends and her brother-in-law Vikram Jawahar Thakur, who was also killed in the accident.
Among the 17 casualties of the bus tragedy, two were identified as Pakistani nationals Shafiq Ahmad from Dera Ghazi Khan and Shehzad Khan from Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa.
By noon, family members, friends and acquaintances of some of the victims gathered at the embalming unit of the Medical Fitness Centre in Muhaisnah.The Consul General visited them and offered condolences.
The first two bodies to be embalmed and flown home were those of the father and son duo who perished in the crash.
Ummer Chonokadavth, 65, and son Nabil Ummer, 25, were returning to Dubai after spending the Eid holidays with Ummer’s daughter’s family in Muscat.
Nahim Shad, nephew of Ummer, who was at the embalming centre told Gulf News that the family has been shattered by the tragedy.
“Everyone is devastated. His wife has not been told about their deaths yet. She has been told that they were injured in the accident. We are afraid how she would bear the pain of losing both of them together. Now, she will have to be informed.”
Ummer’s younger brother Isahaq, who works at a spare parts store in Sharjah accompanied the mortal remains.
Speaking to Gulf News, Isahaq said Ummer has been a long time resident of Abu Dhabi and had left UAE a few years back.
“He worked for Abu Dhabi Municipality for around 30 years, but he went back home a few years back. Recently, he came back on a business trip, I never thought I will have to take him back home in this way,” said Isahaq, chocking back his tears.
Victim Deepa Kumar’s wife Athira and four-year-old daughter Athulya, who survived the crash, were sent home with the former’s cousin on an Indigo flight at 11.20am.
“Athira collected their passports from Rashidiya Police Station on Friday night. She wasn’t told about Kumar’s death till they left here. She was told he had a spinal injury and cannot be flown home with her. But she had started to become suspicious that something serious had gone wrong,” said the family’s neighbour Sajila Junaid.
She said Athira’s brother was accompanying Kumar’s body on Saturday night.
Word of thanks
The Consul General thanked the Dubai Police, hospital officials and other local authorities for extending support to the victims and survivors.
He also took the opportunity to appreciate the consulate officials especially consuls Sanjeev Kumar, Prem Chand, PRO Abdul Kareem and social worker Naseer Vatanappally and other social workers who had been working day and night to complete the legal formalities.
The tragedy has left the Indian community in shock with several community members and social workers coming forward to support the grieving families. “All of us appreciate and are thankful for the extraordinary support from our Consul General, his team and Air India. The community is thankful to Dubai Police officials and hospital authorities also for their timely support without which the consulate couldn’t have completed the paper works this fast,” said social worker Nandi Nazar.
Repatriation schedule of Indian victims from Dubai on Air India and Air India Express flights, below.
1 Mr Vikram Jawahar Thakur - DXB-BOM /AI0912 09JUNE
2 Mr Vimal Kumar Karthikeyan- DXB-TRV /IX0540 08JUNE
3 Mr Vasudev Khelani-DXB-BOM- JDH / AI0984 08JUNE
4 Mr Ummer Chonokatavath DXB-CCJ / AI0938 08JUNE
5 Mr Deepa Kumar Prabula Madhavan DXB-TRV /0540 08JUNE
6 Mr Arakkaveettil Muhamedunni Jamaludeen DXB-COK/IX0412 08JUNE
7 Mr Nabil Ummer-DXB-CCJ-AI0938 08JUNE
8 Mr. Rajan Puthiyapurayil-DXB-CCJ / IX0344 09JUNE
9 Mrs Reshma Firoz –DXB-BOM / AI912 -09JUNE
10 Mr Firoz Khan – DXB-BOM / AI912 -09JUNE
11 Mr Kiran Johny – DXB-CCJ Ix536 08/6/19
Free repatriation for Indian bus crash victims
The bodies of the Indian victims in Dubai’s bus crash on Thursday are to be flown home for free in cases where their families do not get immediate support from their employers.
The Consul General of India in Dubai Vipul told Gulf News on Saturday morning that the remains of the Indian victims will be repatriated free of cost by Air India if employers don't offer aid. The Consul General also thanked Dubai Police and all hospital authorities for their support.
Twelve of the 17 passengers who died after the Muscat-Dubai bus crashed into a height barrier were identified as Indians.
“The Consulate has waived the fees for emergency certificates as most passports [of victims and family members] are either damaged or blood-soaked. We will be bearing the cost of embalming the bodies also wherever it is necessary,” he said.
In the absence of a valid passport an emergency certificate is the travel document issued. The Consulate was kept open on Friday to issue and handover these papers to the families at the Al Baraha Hospital where death certificates were being issued by local authorities, Vipul said.
He confirmed that the body of one of the victims, Jamaludeen Muhammadunni Arakkaveettil, had been flown to his hometown in the south Indian state of Kerala in the wee hours of Saturday. However, his case was handled by his colleagues and friends.
“Formalities have been completed for ten victims. There was a delay in the case of the two women as there was no female doctor available. We hope to complete the formalities and repatriate most of the victims today itself.”
The Consul General also took the opportunity to appreciate the consulate officials especially consuls Sanjeev Kumar, Prem Chand, PRO Abdul Kareem and social worker Naseer Vatanappally and other social workers who have been coordinating with the consulate day and night to complete the legal formalities. The Consul General also thanked Dubai Police and all hospital authorities for their support.