Family identifies Filipina in ill-fated Dubai bus accident - GulfToday

Family identifies Filipina in ill-fated Dubai bus accident


Rescue teams arrive at the site of the crash.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

A younger brother of the Filipino national who had died on the spot from the ill-fated Dubai-bound tourist bus from Oman late afternoon of June 6, Thursday, identified her in the early morning hours of Monday.

Consul General in Dubai and the Northern Emirates Paul Raymund Cortes said the brother arrived from Oman at 12 midnight on Sunday.

“He was accompanied to the Dubai Police morgue by a sister-in-law who lives in Dubai and I hope to meet up with him this afternoon,” Cortes said from the press conference on late Monday morning.

Cortes only released through the Media whatsApp Group chat the full details on the identity and circumstances of the deceased at 2:01 p.m. after having received from the younger brother the notification that he already had consulted with and got the approval from their relatives in Dubai.

Early on, Cortes who had spoken with the younger brother over the phone before the press conference, quoted him as saying “No sir. I am not yet ready. I have to talk first with our family,” when the media asked him if they could even publicize the deceased’s name.

“I am sorry but the family was uncomfortable to release details,” Cortes also said, from the press conference.

“But the next-of-kin officially identified the body at the Dubai Police morgue. She was indeed a Filipino national and after all the documentation of papers (is accomplished which includes) the issuance of the death certificate and the Report on the Deceased by the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai, then the eventual shipment of the remains back home in less than a week,” the consul general explained on the repatriation procedures.

“She was officially confirmed as a Filipino national. The Philippine Consulate General in Dubai and Manila would assist,” Cortes added.

Manila through its Department of Foreign Affairs would “initially bear the cost of repatriation.”

It remains to be known however, if the deceased, physical therapist Marie January Ventura Gallardo, was a documented member of the Philippines’s Overseas Workers Welfare Adminisration which maintains funds for recorded overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

These details would only be known officially through the Philippine Overseas Labour Office in Muscat which is responsible for all registered OFWs in Oman.

From the press conference, it was learnt that Gallardo was one of the two remaining un-identified dead of the 17 that either died on the spot or were pronounced dead upon arrival at the Rashid Hospital in Dubai on Thursday evening.

The 17 were among the 31 on board the Oman National Transportation Company Mwasalat Bus #EO5 from Muscat.

The tourist bus crashed onto a height barrier within the vicinity of the Al Rashidiya Metro Station in Dubai, when the driver, reported to exceed the speed limit of 40 kilometres per hour, drove onto the lane, he did not notice, was restricted to buses.

Thirty-seven-year-old Gallardo and mother of two children from Jones, Isabela Province in Northern Luzon, was looking forward to spend the remaining days of her Eid Al Fitr vacation with relatives in Dubai.

She lived and worked for one year in the Jalaan Bani Bu Hassan Province situated in South Sharqiyah, Oman.

Cortes received information by way of a “text message” about the inclusion of a Filipino national in the tragic 5:40 p.m. June 6 road accident on June 7, Friday, from the Philippine Embassy in Muscat.

The diplomatic mission in Oman was officially notified by Mwasalat.

According to authorities, the accident also caused the lives of 12 Indians, two Pakistanis, one Omani, and one Irish.

The bus driver was detained and subjected to interrogation.

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