Post-mortem examination complete for Indian actress Sridevi who died in Dubai

Technical formalities remain before body is released to family

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UPDATE: Sridevi accidentally drowned in bathtub, traces of alcohol found in forensic report

The family of Sridevi, a Bollywood actress described as India’s first female superstar, said they are devastated by her death.

The movie star is believed to have died of a massive heart attack in Dubai on Saturday night. She was visiting the emirate after attending a nephew’s wedding in Ras Al Khaimah.

The actress died in Emirates Towers in Dubai where her family had moved after attending wedding celebrations. She was 54.

Relatives said they were hopeful they would be able to return home to Mumbai with her body soon but understood that legal formalities required to be completed.

“This was shocking to all of us. We are still in a state of shock and are heartbroken,” said Sanjay Kapoor, the younger brother of Bollywood producer Boney Kapoor and Sridevi’s brother-in-law.

He was among those who had returned to Mumbai after the wedding festivities and came back to Dubai on Sunday following news of Sridevi’s passing.

“She passed away in the hotel itself. There was no earlier heart problem she had that I was aware of,” he said.

Mr Kapoor said the family were awaiting the results of the autopsy.

“People have been really helpful and are trying to do their best. Everybody has to do their job. This is the normal procedure when something like this happens suddenly. We naturally have to abide by the legalities of the country we are in.”


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A postmortem examination was completed by Dubai Police's forensic team on Sunday. But Sridevi's body cannot be released to her family until police receive test reports from the forensic team.

“Until specific test reports are received by the doctor, the police does not consider the case final and cannot issue the death certificate,” said a person with knowledge of the formalities but asked not to be named.

Once the paperwork is complete and the death certificate is issued by Dubai Police, the body will be embalmed and handed over to the family.

“We are in touch with the Dubai Police to expedite the formalities. The postmortem investigation takes a little time,” said Vipul, the Indian consul general in Dubai.

“The other paperwork will be completed quickly.”

Indian authorities require a death certificate to cancel Sridevi’s passport in Dubai before the body is repatriated to Mumbai.

The family confirmed that Sridevi died in the hotel.

A spokeswoman from Jumeirah Group which manages Emirates Towers said they were unable to comment further.

“In line with our privacy policy we are unable to comment on this very sad matter, however, our heartfelt condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to the family,” she said.

Meanwhile, fans of Sridevi took to Twitter to pay tribute to the actress much loved for her excellent sense of comic timing, flair for dramatic roles and graceful dance moves.

She starred in some of the Indian movie industry’s biggest hits through the 1970s and 1980s.

From India’s Prime Minister to industrialists and Bollywood stars, the nation joined together to remember an actress who left an impact across the country.

Tinsel town superstars such as Aamir Khan counted themselves as her fans, taking to Twitter to say, “I have always been a huge fan of her work. Equally I have always been an admirer of the grace and dignity with which she conducted herself.

"My heartfelt condolences to everyone in the family. I join all the millions of her fans in mourning her demise. Ma’am we will always remember you with love and respect,” he said.

Famous actress Madhuri Dixit said, “The world has lost a very talented person who has left behind a huge legacy in film.

Sridevi's co-star Rishi Kapoor who starred alongside her in the blockbuster movie Chandni (or Moonlight) said the world had lost a talented actor.

“Absolute shock. Henceforth no more moonlit nights! Chandni gone forever. Alas!” he tweeted in reference to the film.

Others said she would live on through her body of work.

Actress Priyanka Chopra of Quantico fame said, “Every passing moment, we will remember these moments, now that this season has passed, we will lament … Condolences to everyone who loved Sridevi. A dark day.”

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi also mourned the death of the movie veteran.

“Saddened by the untimely demise of noted actor Sridevi. She was a veteran of the film industry whose long career included diverse roles and memorable performances. My thoughts are with her family and admirers in this hour of grief. May her soul rest in peace,” Mr Modi said.

Businessman Anand Mahindra remembered the star’s spirit and energy.

He said he mourned Sridevi’s passing “along with the rest of the nation. But I also celebrate how she lived life to the fullest.”

UPDATE: Sridevi accidentally drowned in bathtub, traces of alcohol found in forensic report