Saturday, 5 July 2014

Building collapse tragedy: Two families fight over body at morgue

Adding a twist to the building collapse tragedy, members of a family had to bring a body back to the city after discovering it wasn't their kin's, while two other families fought for another body at the Government Royapettah Hospital on Friday.

A mutilated body, mistakenly identified as Prakash Raut, was being transported by his family to home in Kendrapara district in Odisha when it was learnt that Raut was alive and recuperating at Sri Ramachandra Medical Centre.

"The body was identified by his brother as that of 25-yearold Prakash Raut. We completed the legal formalities and sent the body with him for cremation. But when the real Raut emerged from the debris, we immediately called the driver and asked him to return," said a senior health department official.

Raut was on the seventh floor when the building collapsed in Moulivakkam. He was rescued 72 hours later. Officials said the mutilated body, now at the mortuary in Royapettah, was yet to be identified. As Raut's family celebrates, two families are at loggerheads over the identity of a body at the Royapettah mortuary.

Gowri Naidu, 35, and Chinnam Naidu, 45, of Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh had died in the building collapse. Their family members have been waiting at the morgue for five days to check if their kin's body had arrived. On Friday, Lokesh saw a mutilated body and claimed it was his father Chinnam Naidu, while another man called Simhasanam said it was that of his brother Gowri Naidu.

Finally, based on the description given by both the families and the doctor's advice, it was decided that the body belonged to Gowri Naidu. " To avoid such confusion, we have collected DNA samples of all the bodies that have arrived from the collapse site. We will run tests if necessary," said a senior doctor.

Meanwhile, to make space for bodies of victims of the tragedy, Government Royapettah Hospital have sent 38 unidentified bodies belonging to victims of road and rail accidents to the mortuaries attached to Government General Hospital and Kilpauk Medical College Hospital.

Saturday 05 July 2014


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