Air India on Sunday said that 87 bodies have been handed over to the family members and relatives of the passengers who died in the Mangalore plane crash. All the 158 bodies have been recovered from the crash site, Air India spokesperson Harpreet Singh De said.
"All the 158 bodies have been recovered from the crash site and 87 bodies have already been handed over to relatives," De told reporters in Mumbai.
Air India was trying its best to provide all assistance to the passengers' family members, she said. An international agency for emergency response and rescue operations, US-based Kenyon, has already been contacted by Air India to support the airline in the search and retrieval operation, she said.
"We have deputed one person from our emergency management to assist the relatives at Mangalore," De said.
She said that investigations by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and Air India's flight safety department were on and the black box of the crashed aircraft was yet to be recovered.
In the country's worst air disaster in a decade, a Boeing 737 plane of Air India Express overshot the airport runway in Mangalore and burst into flames on Saturday morning, killing 158 people.
The body of the co-pilot has also been claimed and the bodies of two crew members have been identified. Air India said that it was making special arrangements to ensure visas and other travel arrangements for the family members of the victims.
"We are also making flight arrangements for the family members and relatives," the Air India spokesperson said. Family members are being contacted and the airline is making all arrangements for their travel and other requirements.
Additional flights were operated to take family members of the passengers and crew to Mangalore. "We have set up local contact centres at all the places besides additional centres at Dubai, Calicut and Mangalore," the spokesperson said.