By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Tribune Chief Reporter
UNIDENTIFIED victims of Hurricane Dorian will be placed in individual graves, with a key recovery agency in the country urging that “no one should exploit” this issue.
This, according to Disaster Reconstruction Authority Managing Director Katherine Forbes Smith yesterday as she insisted there would be no mass burial, adding every effort was being made to ensure relatives of the identified victims are aware of what is happening with the remains of loved ones. The burials will cost the government $247,000.
She said officials had received two estimated costs for burials and went with the most economical.
She said a team from the coroner’s office in New Providence was expected to travel to Abaco today and officials were in the process of identifying a date for a national service for those who died during Hurricane Dorian.
“The DRA has asked members of the Bahamas United Funeral Homes and Morticians Association and Bahamas Christian Council to take carriage of the organisation and planning of the burial in conjunction with the DRA,” Mrs Forbes-Smith said yesterday. “The group has been very strategic with its preparation.”
“On Tuesday the DRA’s technical team led by its chairman, Wendall Grant, a civil and structural engineer, will be on Abaco to determine the exact location for the burial on the site already determined,” she continued.
“During this process, the Christian Council and Morticians Association will meet with family members of people presumed deceased to discuss any special considerations and concerns they may be regarding the burial.
“The DRA will not exploit the memory of the deceased. We want to make sure family members are aware of what is happening.
“Discussions circulating of a mass burial is not true, it is false, and no one should exploit this issue. The remains of the unknown will be placed in individual graves.
“Out of respect for families we do not wish to say anything further on this matter.”
It is expected that in the coming days, a date this month will be announced for the national service for the victims.