The bodies of 64 Egyptians who died in the Gulf Air crash off Bahrain will be taken back to their country on a special flight Saturday morning, an airline official said Friday.
Relatives, who will travel on the same flight, "were still identifying the bodies Friday," two days after the plane went down in Gulf waters while attempting to land in Bahrain, he said.
The family members arrived here Thursday on a special Gulf Air plane and have been trying to identify their relatives from photographs of the corpses.
A Cairo airport security official said the special return flight had been scheduled for Friday evening but was postponed until Saturday morning at the request of the families, who want to bury the bodies the same day they arrive in Egypt.
The plane is expected to land at 11:00 a.m. (0800 GMT) at Cairo airport, where a room has been set aside for the victims' families, Egypt's MENA news agency said.
Egyptian health officials said the government would provide 50 ambulances to transport the coffins, and the relatives, to the burial sites.
A Bahraini photographer said the bodies of the 143 people who died in the Airbus A320 crash "are in horrible condition.
"The impact was so violent that most of the bodies are in a frightful, horrible state. The task of identifying them will be very difficult," he said.
The Gulf Air official said the atmosphere in the Manama hotel hall where the families are looking at the photos is heavy with grief.
Bahrain's civil aviation director, Abdel Rahman bin Rashid al-Khalifa, said Thursday that the bodies of the Bahraini and Saudi passengers had been given to their families and that other bodies would be handed over as soon as they were identified - MANAMA (AFP)
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