NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Central and South Abaco MP James Albury has requested a formal inquiry into the process that led to the burial of 55 unidentified Hurricane Dorian victims on Friday after nearly nine months.
In a letter to Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, Albury said an inquiry was critical not only to bring closure for Abaconians but to guide the handling of any future mass-casualty event.
“I write to you today on behalf of the people of Central and South Abaco, most of which have had the inconceivable experience of living through a Category 5 Hurricane and forever losing friends and/or family and more to this nationally unprecedented disaster,” Albury wrote.
“Though some in Abaco feel a sense of relief and closure that the victims’ bodies have now been laid to rest, as we approach another hurricane season, there are many who still remain unsure of the location and fate of their loved ones.”
The letter read: “Sir, I would be remiss if I did not request that a formal inquiry into this 8-9 month process and the timeliness of this procedure be looked into by the appropriate agencies.
“I feel a review of this is not only imperative for the families of Abaco, but also for the proper handling of any future mass casualty events — God forbid.”
The letter was dated May 23, and posted on Albury’s Twitter account today.
On Friday, the remains of 55 victims were buried in the Central Pines Public Cemetery in numbered sealed coffins amid staunch protest over how the government has managed the process.
Albury said he was only requesting clarity, noting his letter did not reflect poorly on the efforts of the Disaster Reconstruction Authority, who coordinated the burials along with the Bahamas Christian Council, and Abaco Christian Council.
He added he was appreciative of the DRA’s ongoing efforts.
The letter read: “I believe your assistance with this may help to bring answers and further closure to the people of Abaco.”