Mohamed Nazeer

Eight victims unidentified

DNA finger-printing to be done

Results may take at least a week

KASARAGoD: The relatives of eight of the passengers from here who died in the Mangalore plane crash on May 22 have to wait for at least a week before they receive the bodies for funeral as the remains of the passengers are among the 22 badly charred bodies that have not yet been identified.

The control room here informed that the death toll of the passengers from Kasaragod was 48. No body was handed over to any of the eight bereaved families on Monday as it was decided to take their body samples for DNA finger-printing in Hyderabad.

Funeral of all the 40 bodies was completed by Sunday, they said adding that while 38 bodies were buried in their native places in Kasaragod, the funeral of the remaining two bodies took place near Mangalore as their families had been settled there.

The bodies of the eight passengers who were still unidentified are: Riju John from Padannakkad, Abdul Basheer Kallinkal Moidu from Pallikkara, Abdul Azeez Anjikkatta from Uppala, Umashan Vijayan from Keezhur Kadappuram, Lokesh Trikkanad Narayanan from Unchathur near Manjeswaram, Muhammad Basheer Herur from Bappayathodi near Uppala, Aboobacker Siddiqui from Chinamukhar and Sukumaran Kuzhiyam Kottichar from Mayilatti.

When contacted, District Collector Anand Singh told The Hindu that the DNA sampling would take at least a week. He said he had visited the families of those eight passengers to explain the situation to them and console them.

Mr. Singh had been heading the official machinery set up in Mangalore to help the relatives visiting hospitals in Mangalore to identify the bodies of the dead passengers.

He returned to the district after it was decided that the bodies of the eight passengers would be taken for DNA sampling for identification.

Meanwhile, the families of the victims of the plane crash would be visited by special counsellors to help them overcome the emotional pain they experienced.

Air India had already announced that it would assign volunteers drawn from different parts of the country for the counselling of members of each of the families that had lost their members in the accident. Each bereaved family would be assigned a volunteer for counselling, it was informed.

Officials here said that the forms for applying for interim compensation to the families of the victims could be downloaded from the website from May 25.

The Civil Aviation Ministry had announced an interim compensation of Rs. 10 lakh.