“In the case of a mass disaster, we are not supposed to hand over bodies until all the bodies have been identified,” Assistant Commissioner Prabhulinga Kavalikatti said here on Monday.
He was speaking at a function organised by Manipal University to felicitate the medical team involved in the disaster management of the May 22 air crash here. As many as 35 people were felicitated on the occasion, most of them doctors from Kasturba Medical College and A.J. Hospital and Research Centre.
Mr. Kavalikatti said that this was an occasion for introspection into the “lacunae in the system”, so that in future response to an emergency could be better.
Personnel from the National Disaster Management Institute were counselling the victims' families for post-disaster trauma.
Later, Mr. Kavalikatti told The Hindu that the victim identification guidelines issued by Interpol should have been followed, but the administration was not aware of it at the time. Anand Menon, Head of the Department of Forensic Medicine at Kasturba Medical College (KMC), Mangalore, said that doctors of the KMC had conducted post-mortem of 129 bodies. Commissioner of Police Seemant Kumar Singh said that rescue workers at the crash site faced shortage of gloves, masks and water, which were most essential for workers in any disaster management scenario. However, he commended the public for carrying out instructions with discipline.
Sabrina Nasrin Haq, one of the eight survivors of the crash, said that the incident would remain with her for the rest of her life. Pro-Chancellor of Manipal University H.S. Ballal spoke.