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DNA tests to identify remains of SAPTCO accident victims.

Byline: Mohammmed Rasooldeen

RIYADH: Forensic experts at King Saud Medical Complex will conduct DNA tests to identify the remains of 20 people who died in a fiery bus accident about 30 km east of Riyadh on Thursday.

Sabarullah Khan, deputy chief of mission at the Sri Lankan Embassy, told Arab News that the city morgue has called for blood samples of the siblings of the dead.

Five Sri Lankans were among the passengers incinerated inside a bus belonging the Saudi Arabian Public Transport Company (SAPTCO) that collided with a truck during a blinding sandstorm.

Other passengers on the bus bound for the Eastern Province city of Hofuf were four Saudis, three Indians, two Yemenis, a Pakistani, an Egyptian, a Bangladeshi and two Sudanese nationals.

DNA tests are being conducted on the Saudis since their blood relatives have already reported to the city morgue.

"Blood relatives of three dead Sri Lankans - Subair Mufeez, Meera Lebbe Tayar and Mendis Appuhamy - work in the Kingdom and we have asked them to report to the embassy to extract blood samples for the necessary tests," he said.

Khan said the forensic department has stored blood samples of all the dead passengers and therefore it will be easy for experts to compare DNA samples.

"We are also making a request to the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs seeking permission to get samples from the blood relatives of the other two dead Sri Lankans from Sri Lanka," said the embassy official.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) in Colombo announced yesterday that the next of kin of the victims would be paid a compensation of SR10,000 each.

In the event of accidental death in their overseas stations, workers registered with the SLBFE are entitled to a package of benefits, including a lump sum payment. By a statutory regulation, all Sri Lankan nationals leaving for employment abroad are required to register themselves with the SLBFE.

The registration valid for two years can be renewed at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh and the consulate in Jeddah.

Copyright: Arab News 2009 All rights reserved.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Jun 17, 2009
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