Maputo — The remains of 14 of the 16 Mozambicans who died on 29 November last year in the crash of a Mozambican Airlines (LAM) plane flying from Maputo to Luanda arrived in Maputo on Monday.
It has taken almost five months to repatriate the bodies because the violence of the crash dismembered the victims, making the task of identifying all the remains difficult and time consuming.
The plane, an Embraer 190, crashed in the Bwambata National Park in Namibia, killing all six crew members and 27 passengers on board. There were 16 Mozambicans, nine Angolans, five Portuguese, a Brazilian, a Frenchman and a Chinese citizen among the dead. The bodies were taken for identification to a morgue in Windhoek.
Speaking at a Maputo press conference on Monday morning, the LAM Chief Executive Officer, Marlene Manave, said that of the 14 Mozambicans repatriated, three are moslems and will be buried on Monday afternoon at Lhanguene cemetery, after a religious ceremony in a local mosque. The families have arranged the funerals of the other victims between Monday and Saturday.
The remains of two of the Mozambican victims are still in Namibia, for final confirmation of identification. Manave said they would be repatriated as soon as possible.
The remains of the Angolan, Portuguese, Brazilian and French victims have already been repatriated. As for the Chinese victim, at his family's request he will be cremated in Namibia.