The remains of 149 victims of a plane crash in Venezuela will be repatriated to Martinique later this month, an official said Monday. The West Caribbean Airways plane was returning to Martinique after a chartered trip to Panama when it crashed on Aug. 16, killing all 152 passengers and an eight-member Colombian crew, the AP reports.
The remains of 149 passengers will be sent to the French Caribbean island on Oct. 29 for burial, said Maurice Antiste, mayor of the west coast town of Francois, where 23 victims were from. The remains of three other victims were sent home in September. The repatriation has been delayed because of the difficult process of identifying the bodies, most of which were torn up in the crash, said Antiste, who lost three relatives in the crash. All but four of the passengers have been identified.
The French government will cover the cost of the repatriation and burials, Antiste said.
The crash was the deadliest in Venezuelan history, according to the Aviation Safety Network, an independent group that keeps records on crashes. A.M.