Emerald Star tragedy: 'Exhume the body to ascertain identity', says Sushma Swaraj
New Delhi, Nov 18: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has asked the Indian Ambassador in the Philippines to initiate steps to exhume the body of a person with a life jacket that has a marking of the Emerald Star, the cargo ship which sank off Okinawa over a month ago, for identification.
MV Emerald Star, that had 26 Indians on board, sank on October 13, 2017. While 16 Indians were rescued, remaining 10 could not be found. In a series of tweets, Swaraj said the Coast Guard of Philippines have informed India that an unidentified decomposed body of a person with a life jacket marking Emerald Star was found on October 28 on island city of Banua.
"Since the body was decomposed, it was buried there," Swaraj said, adding that she has asked the Indian Ambassador in Manila that the body be exhumed and brought to Manila for identification through DNA testing.
The external affairs minister said the search operation for missing Indians was going on.
"We continued search for missing Indians on nearby islands," she said.
Extensive search operation was launched by Japan and the Philippines after the ship sank. The Indian Navy had joined the operation. Indian missions in Japan, the Philippines and China were coordinating the search operation.