Families now wait for the 26 bodies of Bangladeshis who died in US-Bangla Airlines plane crash in Kathmandu on Monday that left 51 people dead.
The Nepalese authorities are taking time to confirm the identities of mostly charred or beyond recognition bodies recovered from the debris.
The airliner, meanwhile, is preparing to send Bangladeshi and Nepalese critically burnt patients abroad for better treatment and Bangladesh was sending a seven-member medical team to support the Nepalese medical authorities.
Bangladesh on Wednesday also announced a national mourning day today to mourn the deaths. Meanwhile, the US-Bangla Airlines has suspended their operations on Dhaka-Kathmandu route.
On Wednesday, family members were waiting at Teaching Hospital in the Nepalese capital where the bodies were kept in the mortuary and many vented anger over the ‘delay’ in handing over the body or just allowing relatives to identify bodies.
‘We are talking with the hospital authorities…We came here to detect the bodies, but now we are not being allowed to even see the bodies…,’ said Basimath Saifullah, sister of cabin crew Khawaja Hussain, also known as KHM Shafey, in Nepal.
Other family members told Bangladesh media covering from Nepal that if Kathmandu did not have enough capacity to treat burn patients and they should hire people from abroad.
On Wednesday morning, Sukhendu Biash Roy, father of one of the deceased, Piash Roy, went to the US Bangla office at Baridhara in Dhaka to know when and how the body of his son would be brought back.
The Nepal authorities informed Bangladesh that they kept the mortuaries shut for all, including Nepalese, for smooth examinations of the bodies.
Bangladesh ambassador in Nepal Mashfee Binte Shams told Bangladeshi reporters after a meeting with the Nepalese authorities, that formalities about the bodies would be completed within three days and would give the relatives one day to identify the bodies.
In separate press conference in the night, she said that Nepal was ‘specially handling’ the accident patients and deceased.
Bangladesh acting foreign secretary M Khurshed Alam told New Age that the government was set to send a team of five burn specialists to Kathmandu today to provide advisory services for treatment and transfer of victims.
A separate three-member team would also depart for Kathmandu for collecting DNA sample of the deceased for identifying bodies for handing them over to their relatives, he said.
Nine injured Bangladeshi passengers were undergoing treatment in three Kathmandu hospitals while one of the critically burnt passengers, Rangpur Medical College registrar Md Rezwanul Haque, was sent to a Singapore hospital.
A Bangladesh expatriate in Nepal, Ashiq Kanchon, visiting the injured and helping families to connect their relatives, said the condition of Emrana Kabir was so critical.
Shahreen Ahmed Mumu’s brother wanted to take her to Bangladesh today for treatment.
US Bangla chief executive officer Imran Asif, who is now in Nepal, said if anyone of the Bangladeshis or other injured passengers needed better treatment, they would be brought by US-Bangla to Bangladesh or to any other places via air ambulance as per the doctor’s advice.
After filling up of a first information report form by the relatives, the bodies would be flown back to Dhaka, and US-Bangla was ready to carry the bodies back to Bangladesh while a Bangladesh Air Force plane was standby to transport the bodies, Imran said.
‘If the identification process of any bodies could not be done, DNA profiling will be carried out,’ he said, adding, ‘We have yet to see any bodies like the relatives, because the Nepalese hospital authorities are following the forensic guideline strictly.’
Dhaka Reporters Unity mourned the death of Boishakhi Television journalist Foysal Ahmed in the plane crash.
Imran said, ‘We have started our investigation to find out whether any mismanagement from the airliner was responsible for the crash. Bombardier company also sent their representatives and would do investigation to see if the plane was having any technical errors.’
International Civil Aviation Organisation, a UN organisation, will also do a comprehensive investigation to find out the actual cause of the crash, he said.
The Nepal authorities also started another investigation as the crash occurred in their land.
‘The compensation will be allocated to the deceased and injured passengers through the guideline of ICAO,’ said the CEO Imran.
An US-Bangla pilot who flies international plane said, ‘I do not understand why people are playing blame game among ATC, pilot and airlines. Most of the airlines in the world do not operate in Kathmandu due high terrain and inclement weather. There might have been microburst, wind shear or some other issues which led to wrong instruments reading. It is only “Aircraft Accident Investigation Report” which can find out the root cause. So, please until then have patience.’
Kamrul Islam, general manager of The US-Bangla Airlines, told New Age, ‘We have suspended operation of flights on the route for shortage of aircrafts. The suspension will continue till further notice.’
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