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Home > News > Report

A day later, four bodies still unclaimed

Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai | August 26, 2003 20:10 IST

A day after Monday's blasts, four bodies that were found at the Gateway of India in Mumbai are still unclaimed.

Doctors at St George's Hospital are waiting for someone to come and claim them.

The bodies are those of a five-year-old girl, a man who looks over 40, a woman in her late twenties and a man identified as Iqbal.

The hospital's Dr Ashok Shinde told "Everyone in Mumbai knows there were blasts and people have died at the Gateway of India. We are now wondering whether these people were from out of Mumbai and had come to take a stroll at the Gateway of India.

"We have handed all the bodies to relatives who had come to claim them. Now, we only hope that someone comes soon to claim these bodies or else the morgue authorities will have to dispose them off after some time."

According to rules, the morgue authorities must wait for seven days before performing the final rites on an unclaimed body.

Unlike Monday, when there was absolute pandemonium at the hospital, the scene today was rather quiet.

The hospital authorities, who handled the crisis effectively, were looking calm and people were not pouring in to catch a glimpse of the injured.

But security at the hospital was very tight, with commandoes and policemen swarming all over the place.

As Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani and Congress president Sonia Gandhi were coming to the hospital, policemen were asking journalists to move on and not stand near the doors of the wards where the injured were.

Dr Shinde said: "I was at J J Hospital when terrorists struck Mumbai on March 12, 1993. The situation was bad then as many bodies were coming to the hospital. It was difficult to manage but still we did out best. But I learned a lot of things after that incident and therefore I could handle this crisis much better. We managed to save three lives..."

The biggest tragedy was for the Bharwad family, which had come to visit Mumbai from Kutch in Gujarat. It lost six of its members and one was seriously injured.

"The Bharwads were the people who suffered the most. In fact, they had come to Mumbai after a religious pilgrimage to the Kumbh Mela in Nashik. They had come here to visit the Gateway of India when tragedy struck them," said Dr Shinde.

The hospital authorities ensured that the relatives of all the deceased Bharwads -- Ranchodhbhai (50), Nagibhai (50), Revabhai (60), Jagan Malabhai (53) and Kakubhai (55) -- got the bodies so that they could take them back to their native place.

"One of the survivors, Rajibhai Bharwad (33), could not believe how such a big tragedy could strike the family. He was completely in a state of shock," added Dr Shinde.

More reports from Maharashtra
Read about: Telgi case | Mumbai blasts

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