Agonising wait for kin at hospital

Mangalore (Karnataka), May 23 (Calcutta Tube) For doctors and other staff at the government-run Wenlock Hospital, it is a race against time to conduct autopsies of victims of Saturday’s Air India Express crash before the bodies begin to decompose while for the relatives and friends it is an agonising wait to get the remains of their near and dear ones.

For families and friends of around 20 of the 158 victims of the crash, the wait may be longer as the bodies are burnt beyond recognition and a DNA test will be necessary to establish their identity, a police official said.

‘Around 130 bodies have been identified so far and will be handed over to the family members after post-mortem examination,’ R. Rajesh, deputy superintendent of police, said.

‘We are hopeful another seven to eight bodies will be identified by the family members while DNA test may become necessary to identify around 20 victims,’ he added.

Doctors at the hospital were conducting autopsy on the bodies as and when their identity was established and relatives claimed these. With the number of identified bodies increasing by the hour, the staff were racing against time to complete the post-mortem examinations before the bodies started decomposing.

At the hospital, most of the relatives of the victim were too numbed to talk and preferred to be left alone to grieve their loss privately and get over the trauma of seeing the charred remains of their loved ones.

‘We expect to complete the process of handing over the identified bodies to the relatives by late Sunday,’ Rajesh said.

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