Lewis: Unclaimed Dorian victims will be buried at one site

Lewis: Unclaimed Dorian victims will be buried at one site
Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction Iram Lewis (file photo)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — While a specific date has yet to be set to bury the unclaimed remains of 50 Hurricane Dorian victims in Abaco, Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness Iram Lewis said yesterday those individuals will be buried at one location.

It has been more than five months since Hurricane Dorian ravaged portions of Abaco and Grand Bahama.

“The idea is to have it all in one location, but each of the graves marked, so at the end of the day once all of the DNA is finalized, persons [who] wish to exhume — bodies and so forth — that can be done,” Lewis said in response to questions from the media on the sidelines of a swearing ceremony at Government House.

“To make it easy and make it simple, as far as I am aware it will be [located] in one general area.”

When asked if that location has been decided upon, Lewis said he was uncertain, but the identifying the site was in the hands of local government, which has responsibility for cemeteries on the island.

“Once we have all of the pertinent information, we will advise the media,” he said.

A date for burial has not been set, according to the minister, who said that will be done in consultation with “the family members in Abaco”.

“I am not sure that meeting has been had as yet with those family members,” Lewis said.

“Once that is also determined, the media will be advised.”

Last Friday, Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said those unclaimed victims will be buried on the island in another three to four weeks.

He said of the 50 sets of remains being stored, none of them matched DNA samples taken from purported relatives.

The Catergory 5 storm, which decimation communities in Grand Bahama and Abaco last September affected nearly 30,000 people and killed at least 71 people.

Fifty-four people still remain missing.