National carrier Air India will set up a cell at its office at Lalbagh here to help the families of the May 22 air crash victim get death certificates, said Minister of State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa.

Mr. Muniyappa, the Prime Minister's emissary to oversee relief operations, told journalists on Sunday that officials manning the cell would work with the Revenue and Police departments.

Sudhir G. Amin, Assistant General-Manager (Quality Management System), Air India, who was present at the press conference, said the preparations were on to set up the cell and that it could start functioning in a day or two.

Interim compensation

The Minister said Air India had so far distributed an interim compensation of Rs.4.75 crore in the case of 51 deceased people and one survivor Ismail Abdulla Puttur. The survivor got a relief of Rs.2 lakh. Air India had announced an interim relief of Rs.10 lakh for adults and half that amount for children.

Mr. Muniyappa reiterated Air India's decision to hold another sitting by its advocates and financial management team to disburse compensation to other survivors and kin of other victims on June 3 and 4.

The Minister, who could not specify when the compensation of Rs.2 lakh each announced by the State and the Centre would reach the victims, maintained that the administrations of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Kasaragod districts would be asked to expedite the process once they were in receipt of the funds.

Mr. Muniyappa said the 11 unidentified bodies would be handed over to claimants in the next two to three days. He expected the DNA results of these bodies to be available in the next 48 hours. The government would cremate the bodies that remain unclaimed even after DNA testing. He hoped such a situation would not arise.

Mr. Muniyappa said he had asked City Police Commissioner Seemanth Kumar Singh to inquire into the mix-up that led to the body of four-year-old Mohammed Zuber from aPermude family being claimed and cremated by another family.

Additional Deputy Commissioner S.A. Prabhakar Sharma, who was present at the press meet, admitted to the mix-up, but attributed it to the confusion that prevailed at the mortuary on the day of the crash.

Mr. Muniyappa also allayed apprehensions that some passengers, suspected to have been travelling using fake passports, may not get compensation. Air India will compensate their kin based on the legal opinion given by its solicitors, he said.

Mr. Singh said no official communication was received confirming the presence of fake passports.