Abu Dhabi: The UAE Government on Tuesday announced special monetary assistance to the families of 21 workers who were killed in the horrific accident in Al Ain on February 4.

The UAE will pay one year’s salaries of the victims  to their families, said Shaikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Bin Butti Al Hamed, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement carried by WAM.

This is to alleviate the   burden of those families after losing their breadwinners, until a final legal ruling is issued by the authorities regarding the compensation, he said.

The Under Secretary said the  UAE Government has borne the costs of the repatriation of the bodies of 21 workers [19 Bangladeshis, an Indian and an Egyptian] to their home countries after the administrative procedures were completed.

He expressed his heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased.

“On behalf of the Bangladeshi government and people, I express my sincere gratitude to the UAE Government for this humanitarian gesture,” Mohammad Shahadat Hussain, Charge d’Affaires at the  Bangladeshi Embassy in Abu Dhabi, told Gulf News on Tuesday.

He said all 19 Bangladeshis’ families were depending on the victims’ income.
“Now the UAE Government has given a new lease of life to those families; otherwise their life would have been tough until they get their compensation,” Hussain said.

M. K. Lokesh, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, said the UAE gesture once again proves its commitment to the workers who greatly contribute to this nation’s development. “We are very happy about this gesture.”

Thamer Mansour, Egyptian Ambassador to the UAE, said it  is a great help to the affected families. “I really appreciate the UAE’s move, it is really a great support to those families,” he said. 

The news gave a relief to Bangladeshi Jamil Hussain, 24, who was  last night accompanying  the body of his uncle  Wasir Ali, 40, the last one among the 21  Al Ain crash victims to be repatriated . “It will be a great relief to his wife and three children,” he said.

“Accompanying the body of my uncle is not at all easy for me; but this news gives me little bit relief,” Hussain told Gulf News on Tuesday. He was on the way to airport, accompanying his uncle Wasir Ali’s body to Sylhet in Bangladesh, when the UAE announced  a special monetary assistance to the families of Al Ain crash victims.

“For me it came at the right time. At least it will immediately minimise the financial burden of his 30-year-old widow, his two 11 and nine-year-old sons and a five-year-old daughter— especially the children’s education,” Hussain said.

This will be a great help to an ailing father who lost all his hopes after losing his only son, said Humayun Shafikkulla whose cousin Mohammad Farooq Hussain died in the tragedy.

The father—who was a rickshaw-puller in a Bangladeshi village—sent his son to the UAE as he was no longer able to work, he said.