PHUKET: Interior Minister Bhokin Bhalakula today stressed that the bodies of foreign victims of last Sunday’s tsunami will not be cremated or buried before they can be identified.
His statement contradicted an earlier one by Phuket Governor Udomsak Usawarangkura that burials would begin at a site in Mai Khao today.
Speaking at a press conference at the emergency center at Phuket Provincial Hall this morning, K. Bhokin said the bodies of foreigners are now being kept in six cold storage containers at Mai Khao, on the left side of the main highway leading off Phuket, approximately one kilometer beyond the Tah Chat Chai police checkpoint.
The Minister said more containers were on the way, as more and more bodies continue to arrive at the site from Phang Nga.
“Victims’ corpses will be stored so that they can be identified and returned to relatives for proper funerary rites, in accordance with their own religious beliefs,” he said.
Sompong Boonsri, an officer from Mai Khao Tambon Administration Organization, told the Gazette that no burials would take place for “at least for a month” in order to allow relatives time to identify loved ones.
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