Muscat: Efforts are underway to repatriate the bodies of the 14 people who died in a rockslide in Ibri on 27 March.
11 of the victims were from Pakistan, while the other three were Indian nationals. They were among 55 people employed at a marble quarry run by the International Marble Company in the Al Aridh area of Ibri in the Governorate of Dhahirah.
Mohammed Imran Ali Chaudhary, Ambassador of Pakistan to Oman, said: ““Out of the 11 bodies of the Pakistani nationals that were recovered, nine bodies have already been repatriated to the families of the victims. The remaining two are in the process of repatriation.”
Two officers from the Embassy of Pakistan in Muscat were sent to Ibri immediately after they were informed about the accident. Another Pakistani national is injured and undergoing treatment. According to the Ambassador, more than 140 Pakistanis are employed at the marble quarry, some of whom are associated with the company for the last 20 years.
An official from the Embassy of India in Muscat said: “We have already provided the NOC so that the bodies of the three Indians can be repatriated; they arrived in Muscat on Tuesday. One body has already been airlifted and procedures are underway for the other two.
“Our officials are fully cooperating with the government organisations and company representatives to provide all assistance,” he added.
“We have our social workers in Ibri and they were deployed to the accident site the moment we got to know about the incident. Our officials are fully cooperating with the government organisations and company representatives to provide assistance.”
Hussein Al Kalbani, the general manager of the International Marble Company, said that the organisation is taking care of all costs related to repatriation, as well as the hospital charges for five more people injured in the accident.
“We are covering the costs of treatment to those who were injured,” he said. “We have also taken care of the expenses involved in the transport of the bodies to their families abroad. We also plan to compensate the families of the deceased and the company will take a decision in this regard soon.”