The families of 39 Vietnamese people found dead in a lorry in England last month will have to cover the costs to repatriate their relatives’ remains, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in an official document.
Local authorities in central provinces of Nghe An and Ha Tinh, which were home to the highest number of victims, asked the families whether they wanted repatriation of the bodies or the ashes brought back.
Le Hong Vinh, vice chairman of Nghe An Province's People’s Committee, said the local departments of finance and labour, invalids and social affairs will consult with local authorities to support the families after the bodies are repatriated, the Voice of Vietnam (VOV) reported.
Bui Huy Cuong, vice chairman of Can Loc District's People’s Committee in Ha Tinh Province, said they have collected options of five families in the district on Tuesday morning. All of them want to repatriate their relatives’ bodies intact.
The district’s authorities will help the families go to Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi to receive the bodies, he said.
VOV reported that almost all of the families want to receive their relatives’ bodies, not ashes.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the fee to bring a jar of ashes to Noi Bai Airport is £1,370, or VND41.1 million.
Body repatriation in a coffin made of zinc can cost up to £2,208, or VND66 million.
The ministry asked local authorities to make plans to receive the bodies or ashes and transport them to their hometowns.
The number of coffins and jars and repatriation time will be announced later.
On November 7, the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security said UK authorities had confirmed the 39 migrants found in the refrigerated container on October 23 on an industrial estate in Grays, Essex in the south of England, were from Vietnam.
They have permanent residence in Hai Phong, Hai Duong, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Thua Thien-Hue.
Most of them hail from Vietnamese rural areas where cremation is not popular. Bodies are buried several days after death.
The bodies of Vietnamese people found dead in the back of a truck in the United Kingdom may be transported to Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi.
The Vietnamese Government is working closely with the UK authorities to identify the victims of the shocking October 23 lorry incident in Essex, Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung said on November 5.