KOHAT, June 28: Seventy eight out of the total 176 persons, who were killed when their boat capsized near an Australian island, have been identified, according to officials.
They said that it could take at least one month to ferry their bodies from Australia. They said that two persons among the identified victims were residents of Kohat while 76 belonged to Kurram Agency. Efforts were underway to find and recognise more victims, they added.
Officials said that preparing documents and ferrying the bodies back to their homes could require a month because it was a complicated process and the incident had occurred in another continent.
Talking to journalists, Kohat Commissioner Sahibzada Mohammad Anis said that 176 people belonging to Kohat and Karram Agency went missing in the incident on June 26, 2012.
A special cell has been established at the Commissioner’s House, headed by assistant to commissioner, Haider Hussain, to keep relatives of the victims informed. Mr Hussain is in contact with Islamabad and Australian Embassy through the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
According to the official report of Commissioner’s House 140 people including women and children are still missing.
The in-charge of the cell has requested the provincial government to contact the Australian Embassy so that the families of the victims could be kept informed.
An official told Dawn that it was not confirmed whether the victims were going illegally to Australia or they had valid visas and passports. He said that it would be ascertained after getting more information from Australia.