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A view of the tanker fire that took place off the coast of Sharjah in January Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: The Indian Consulate in Dubai on Tuesday repatriated the remains of a third Indian national, who died in a fire onboard an oil tanker off the coast of Sharjah on January 29, after identifying him through a DNA test.

The mission announced on social media that the mortal remains of Mohammad Abbas Ansari from the state of Bihar was sent to his hometown, Patna. The body has been repatriated 40 days after the blaze aboard Palau-flagged vessel MT Sam.

“His body was identified by matching his DNA with that of his son,” the mission said in a tweet on Wednesday.

Authorities had to resort to DNA tests to identify his mortal remains because the last two bodies that were retrieved a couple of days after the fire were charred beyond recognition.

Ansari is the third Indian victim of the fire whose mortal remains have been repatriated.

The bodies of Shiva Naga Babu from Andhra Pradesh and Basudeb Haldar from West Bengal were repatriated on February 13 and 20 respectively.

One still missing

Another Indian, Kolangi Thankavel from Tamil Nadu, remains missing till date.

DNA test would be conducted on the remaining body to verify if that is Thankavel as two people of two other nationalities had also reportedly gone missing after the fire.

“We are in the process of getting the DNA test done on the remaining body. We have called Thankavel’s family for this. His son will be brought to Dubai with the assistance of the consulate,” Neeraj Agrawal, consul (Press, Information and Culture) told Gulf News on Wednesday.

The oil tanker had 12 crew members and 42 technicians on board when it caught fire, 21 miles off the coast of Sharjah.

They included Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Ethiopian and other undisclosed nationalities. All Indian victims were technicians who were hired by a third party company handling the dismantling of the ship while it was bound for India for scrappage when the fire took place.

The UAE Federal Transport Authority had confirmed that the tanker was not loaded with any oil shipments and early reports attributed the incident to an accident during maintenance operations.