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Body blow to AI reputation after it delivers wrong person's body

In a major goof-up by Air India staff, a dead body of another person was delivered to relatives of an electrician Zahid Hasan, 40, of Gorakhpur. He had died in Dubai around a week back.

india Updated: Mar 14, 2014 23:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

In a major goof-up by Air India staff, a dead body of another person was delivered to relatives of an electrician Zahid Hasan, 40, of Gorakhpur. He had died in Dubai around a week back.

Zahid's relatives, who reside in Thakurganj area of Lucknow, came to collect his body at the airport on Friday morning. It was being brought here by an Air India flight.

After the flight landed they were handed over a coffin by the airlines staff and they proceeded with it towards their destination, Thakurganj. When they reached Alambagh crossing, about 3 km from airport, one of the relatives pointed out that the coffin had the name of Mohammed Dilawar written on it.

When they opened the coffin, to their shock they found the body of another person. They immediately returned to the airport and protested against the irresponsible behavior of the airlines staff even in such sensitive matters.

The incident also stunned the airlines employees, who swung into action and contacted their counterparts in Dubai to tell them about the goof-up. The family members of Zahid also had a heated exchange of words with the airlines staff.

An official of Air India, Lucknow, on the condition of anonymity, regretted the mistake. "Yes a wrong body has been brought to Lucknow but it's the fault of cargo people. Body of Mohammed Dilwar has been sent to Lucknow instead of Zahid Hasan. We have arranged the delivery of Zahid body by soon by a flight of Fly Dubai airlines. It is the cargo company which sends bodies."

Airlines officials said that there was a specific code number based on place of delivery given to coffins. "It seems the man doing the job exchanged the number and that's why a wrong body arrived at Lucknow. During the night the body of Dilawar would be sent back to Dubai," they said.

Director airport Suresh Chandra Hota said, "The Airport Authority of India has nothing to do with this but yes the airlines must be responsible enough to act in such sensitive matters."

M Riyaz one of the relatives of Zahid was in tears said, " Zahid is a great loss for the family, and this goof-up has played with our emotions. We are still waiting for the body. It is expected to arrive late in the night. But can you imagine the condition of the family members of Dilawar, whose body was delivered to us."

He slammed the "heartless" cargo staffers who "are so insensitive that they send wrong bodies to families."

First Published: Mar 14, 2014 22:20 IST