Swedish tsunami victim exhumed from Thai grave

The body of a Swedish tsunami victim has been exhumed from the graveyard where she was mistakenly buried in Thailand so that her body can finally return home, officials said on Wednesday.

The body of the 49 year old woman had been mistakenly claimed by a Thai Muslim family shortly after the disaster. She was quickly buried in a cemetery in Krabi province following Muslim tradition, said Colonel Khemarin Hassiri, who heads the police victim identification unit.

The mistake was discovered on April 4 when DNA tests showed that the body, originally thought to be a Thai woman named Namsa La-ngu, was actually the Swedish woman, he said.

“This was the first case in which a victim was correctly identified after the body had been released to another family,” Khemarin told AFP.

“So we had to coordinate and explain to relatives the misunderstanding,” he told AFP.

Authorities spent months explaining the mistake to Namsa’s family, who finally agreed to allow the exhumation on October 27.

The 49 year old woman, who was killed on Phi Phi island, was the last of 501 Swedish tourists who died in the disaster to be repatriated. Her body was handed to Swedish authorities on Tuesday, Khemarin said.

Police believe Namsa’s body may be among the 1,089 corpses still awaiting identification, he added.

Officials at the Swedish embassy in Bangkok confirmed a body had been received and was in the process of being repatriated, but declined to provide any details about the victim.

At least 2,436 foreigners from 37 countries were killed in Thailand by the December 26 waves which caused devastation throughout Asia.

In Thailand, Sweden suffered the most fatalities, followed by Germany which lost 476 people.



Swede dies in earthquake in Greece and Turkey

A Swedish man was one of the people killed when a violent earthquake hit Greek island Kos, Sweden's foreign ministry has confirmed.

Swede dies in earthquake in Greece and Turkey
Rubble sitting outside the bar damaged by an earthquake in Kos, Greece. Photo: Michael Probst/AP

A second person killed was named as Turkish national Sinan Kurdoglu by Turkey's deputy prime minister, according to news agency the Associated Press. The men died when the roof of a bar collapsed in Kos, The Guardian reports.

The 6.7 magnitude earthquake shook the Greek island and Turkish tourist resort Bodrum in the early hours of Friday. Greek officials said around 200 people were injured, at least 120 on Kos and 70 in Turkey. Sweden's foreign ministry has confirmed that Swedes are among the injured.

The epicentre of the earthquake, which struck at around 1.30am local time, was 10 kilometres south of Bodrum and 16 kilometres north-east of Kos which was the worst hit, reports The Guardian.

A toppled column in Kos after the earthquake. Photo: Michael Probst/AP

“I'm still in shock,” Isak Bergh from Västerås told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, explaining that paintings and mirrors fell from the walls of the hotel he was in and the power was lost.

Another reader described the scene at Rhodes airport.

“I laid on the floor and started to shake around,” Brian Ramirez explained.