Family of man killed in RAK fire wait for formal identification

Ahsanullah Khan’s remains were among three badly-burnt bodies recovered from the sponge and paper tissues warehouse near RAK mall that was gutted by a fire on March 1
Ahsanullah Khan. Courtesy Imran Khan
Ahsanullah Khan. Courtesy Imran Khan

RAS AL KHAIMAH // The family of a Pakistani father-of-three who was killed in a fire at a warehouse where he worked are still waiting for his body to be formally identified by police before it can be returned home for burial.

Ahsanullah Khan’s remains were among three badly-burnt bodies recovered from the sponge and paper tissues warehouse near RAK mall that was gutted by a fire on March 1. The bodies were discovered by employees during a clean-up of the site.

Khan, 29, had worked in the UAE for two months, having left to support his wife and children in Karachi, said his brother-in-law Imran Khan.

“He travelled to Ras Al Khaimah in hopes of getting a better income to support his family,” said Imran, who works as a police officer in Karachi and had to break the news to Ahsanullah’s family.

“We received a call from someone a few days after the warehouse burnt, the guy told us that Ahsanullah died with two others,” said Imran, adding Ahsanullah had called his wife, Ayesha, a few days before the fire to check up on her and their children, sons Muhammed Kashan, 11, Muhammed Aalyan, 8, and 4-year-old daughter Laiba.

“We tried to call on his cell phone, it was off, and we tried to reach out to other people who knew Ahsanullah without luck.

“His wife and children are heartbroken, they do not yet have any estimate when his body would be returned to his homeland to have the proper funeral and burial.

“We still don’t know who will arrange for his body to be sent to Pakistan, nor can we afford the expenses to ship his body home.”

Imran said Ahsanullah’s wife and children are living with relatives, but are fearful of what the future holds after losing their main breadwinner.

“They don’t have any financial means; me and my four brothers are now supporting them financially.”

RAK Police contacted the family in Karachi to inform them that Ahsanullah’s body was so badly burnt in the fire DNA tests will be required to identify it, which have delayed the process of repatriation.

“The bodies were burnt beyond recognition, there was no hair or skin on them, that’s why DNA tests are taking so much time,” said Mohammed Iqbal, a family friend who works as a restaurant manager in Al Ain who was contacted by Ahsanullah’s family for help.

Mr Iqbal said RAK police estimated results of the tests should be complete by the end of the month.

“As soon as the DNA tests are out, we will be then able to coordinate on the next steps to send the body back to Pakistan.”

RAK Police have declined to release any information regarding the fire as it is being treated as an ongoing investigation.

tzriqat@thenational.ae

Published: March 22, 2015 04:00 AM

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