4 ac­ci­dent vic­tims in U.K. out of dan­ger

‘It was a mirac­u­lous es­cape; bod­ies of the de­ceased got mu­ti­lated ’

The Hindu - - CHENNAI - S. Vijay Kumar

The con­di­tion of four per­sons from Tamil Nadu, who were griev­ously in­jured in the road ac­ci­dent at New­port Pag­nell near Buckinghamshire in the United King­dom early on Satur­day is “sta­ble” and “out of dan­ger,” fam­ily and diplo­matic sources said on Wed­nes­day.

The in­jured, in­clud­ing five-year-old Shra­van­thi, who was or­phaned af­ter she lost both her par­ents in the ac­ci­dent, have been ad­mit­ted to dif­fer­ent hos­pi­tals.

The Min­is­ter (Co-or­di­na­tion) of the In­dian High Com­mis­sion in Lon­don, A.S. Ra­jan, told The Hindu over phone that Shra­van­thi re­mained in the In­ten­sive Care Unit of the Birm­ing­ham Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal. “Post ICU dis­charge, she might re­quire fur­ther hospi­tal­i­sa­tion and long-term care. Other sur­vivors are get­ting bet­ter and at least two fam­i­lies from In­dia have reached Lon­don. It was a mirac­u­lous es­cape for the four sur­vivors…the bod­ies of the de­ceased are mu­ti­lated be­yond recog­ni­tion,” he said.

Mr. Ra­jan said the In­dian High Com­mis­sion was work­ing in uni­son with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the World Tamil Or­gan­i­sa­tion, Fed­er­a­tion of Tamil As­so­ci­a­tions in the U.K. and Wipro in ex­tend­ing all pos­si­ble as­sis­tance to the vic­tims and their fam­ily mem­bers. “We are ty­ing up with hos­pi­tal au­thor­i­ties, coro­ner’s of­fice, and fu­neral direc­tors. Suit­able ar­range­ments will be made even if the fam­ily mem­bers de­cide to cre­mate the bod­ies here (in the U.K.),” he said.

Of­fi­cer nom­i­nated

He said the high com­mis­sion had nom­i­nated an of­fi­cer to ex­clu­sively at­tend to the needs of the ac­ci­dent vic­tims and their fam­ily mem­bers. “There have been quite a few in­stances where tourists or oth­ers who vis­ited the United King­dom died of ill­ness or ac­ci­dents. We have a sep­a­rate con­sular ser­vice func­tion­ing to as­sist In­di­ans who re­quire as­sis­tance in repa­tri­at­ing bod­ies. Be­sides ar­rang­ing doc­u­ments such as death cer­tifi­cates and coro­ner re­ports, we even have a wel­fare fund to help peo­ple who don’t have money to trans­port mor­tal re­mains.”

Suit­able com­pen­sa­tion

Asked if the vic­tims were el­i­gi­ble for com­pen­sa­tion, Mr. Ra­jan said the ac­ci­dent was re­port­edly due to drunk driv­ing in­volv­ing a lorry driver.

“The vic­tims dead or in­jured in­no­cent peo­ple were trav­el­ling to catch a train in Lon­don. They are tax pay­ers and have richly con­trib­uted to the econ­omy here…they de­serve a suit­able com­pen­sa­tion. It is an un­bear­able loss to the fam­ily as most of the de­ceased were in their prime youth.”

Mean­while, Shankar, sonin-law of Pa­neer­sel­vam, who died along with two other fam­ily mem­bers in the ac­ci­dent, said the con­di­tion of his rel­a­tives Mano Ran­jan and Sangeetha had im­proved.

Speak­ing to The Hindu over phone from New Delhi, Dr. Shankar said he re­ceived visa to travel to the U.K. on Tues­day evening. “I was in­formed that the bod­ies have been badly dis­fig­ured. But we want to bring them back,” he said.

Eight peo­ple, in­clud­ing five from Tamil Nadu, were killed on the spot when the minibus trans­port­ing a group of Wipro em­ploy­ees and their fam­i­lies from Not­ting­ham to Lon­don met with an ac­ci­dent dur­ing the early hours of Satur­day. The fam­i­lies were on a hol­i­day to Europe when the long week­end came to a tragic end.

Shra­van­thi, who lost her par­ents, may re­quire longterm care A.S. Ra­jan Min­is­ter (Co-or­di­na­tion) of the In­dian High Com­mis­sion in Lon­don

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