Mangalore air crash: Mass funeral for 12 victims

Bangalore, June 2 (Calcutta Tube) A mass funeral of 12 unidentified and unclaimed victims of Air India Express plane that crashed near Karanataka’s Mangalore city May 22, was held Wednesday, officials said.

Blood samples of 34 claimants did not match DNA of any of the 11 victims during the tests done at Central Forensic Laboratory in Hyderabad while one family refused to take the body though the samples matched, police said.

Additional Deputy Commissioner S.A. Prabhakar Sharma and Police Commissioner Seemant Kumar Singh of Dakshina Kannada district held discussions with the claimants late Tuesday after which it was agreed to go for mass funeral.

Sharma said section 34 of the Disaster Management Act empowers the district administration to decide on disposing of the bodies.

‘Generally we would bury such unidentified bodies,’ he said.

‘The funeral was held Wednesday at Kulur on Mangalore’s outskirts in the presence of senior civil and police officials of the district,’ a Mangalore police spokesperson said.

Priests from all religions were present at the funeral, the spokesperson said.

An Air India spokesperson said the airlines was in consultation with its legal advisors and insurers on how to settle compensation issue in the light of the DNA test not establishing the identity of the victims.

The Dubai-Mangalore IX 812 flight overshot the runway after landing at Bajpe airport, about 20 km from Mangalore, May 22 morning, fell over a cliff and caught fire. Of the 166 people on board, 158 were killed, including the six crew members. Eight others survived.

All the victims were burnt to death in the worst air disaster in over a decade in India.

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