Categorized | Featured, National News

‘Bodies May Never Be Found’

Duane Sands

Although the official Hurricane Dorian death toll is 50 and former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said the death toll is in the hundreds, Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said some of the bodies may never be recovered.

Sands told The Bahama Journal that the first 25 autopsies were performed in Abaco by the Princess Margaret Hospital’s Department of Pathology last week, under the oversight of the coroner and with the full knowledge of the Office of the Attorney General. 

“Now we have the ability to create a death certificate and begin the process of trying to match these persons with their loved ones. This is a very complicated process because we don’t know, in all instances, who these persons are,” he said.

“We now have a list of missing persons reduced to 1,300, but here are only 50 recovered bodies. The ocean came in Grand Bahama and Abaco and receded. It is possible that we may never find some of those bodies.” 

However, the minister of health said last Friday that the government is open to the donation of services from any concerned Bahamians in response to the Bahamas Funeral Directors Association expressing that it was left in the dark concerning the recovery dead bodies in islands impacted by Hurricane Dorian. 

“Sometimes people feel like we’ve been a bit slow to accept their generous offer. We apologize for that, but it is by no means a deliberate slight,” Dr. Sands said. 

He added that shortly after, a plan was outlined by the Ministry of National Security using the mapping and retrieval services of the Americans and Canadians on the ground with cadaver dogs. 

“Well, this has been an issue in evolution in the first day or two when Dorian cleared Abaco. We recognized we had a number of retrieved bodies and an inoperable cooler with the ability to retain the remains safely. That’s a big problem,” he said. 

“We then had discussions with a group of four mortuary companies headed by one in particular and the idea was to to go to Abaco and embalm.”

He said considering the circumstances, that crisis was placed in abeyance.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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