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St.Petersburg police interview 137 relatives of Kogalymavia plane passengers

November 01, 2015, 3:25 UTC+3 ST.PETERSBURG

Psychiatrists begin to prepare relatives of Egypt plane crash victims to identify bodies

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© AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky

ST.PETERSBURG, November 1. /TASS/. The law enforcement officers in St.Petersburg have interviewed 137 people who said they were relatives of the passengers who died in the air crash in Egypt on Saturday, the press service of St.Petersburg Vice-Governor Igor Albin reported on Sunday citing a statement by acting head of the Northwest Investigative Department Viktor Belostotsky.

"To date, 137 relatives have been interviewed. All necessary investigative work has been conducted. They are recognized as affected persons. This work is in progress," the press service quoted him as saying.

The emergency response center expects that relatives will continue to arrive on November 1.

"Our team of investigators is working and will work all night long," the statement said.

According to the latest reports, people from 13 Russian regions, including 147 residents of St.Petersburg, as well as Ukrainian and Belarusian citizens died in the plane crash in Egypt.

Psychiatrists begin to prepare relatives of victims to identify bodies

Psychiatrists from Russia’s Serbsky Scientific Center for Social and Forensic Psychiatry have begun preparing relatives of the victims of the plane crash in Egypt for the identification of the bodies, which will soon be delivered to St.Petersburg, the center’s director, chief psychiatrist of the Russian Ministry of Health Zurab Kekelidze told TASS.

St.Petersburg Vice-Governor Igor Albin said on Saturday all bodies would be delivered to St.Petersburg within 24 hours.

"Until that time, we will be preparing relatives for the identification. The reaction during the identification may be quite different Aside from that, it is important for the relatives to have a psychological opportunity to talk with investigators before the identification," Kekelidze said.

According to him, relatives of the victims continue to arrive in the hotel near the St.Petersburg airport even late at night, they are accommodated free of charge.

"There are many people working here who are ready to provide all necessary assistance. As soon as a person turns up, he is immediately surrounded by representatives of various agencies and brought to us first of all, and we talk with him," Kakalidze said, adding that all agencies were working as a team.

The first aircraft carrying passengers’ bodies may arrive in St.Petersburg in the evening on November 1.

On Saturday morning, Kogalymavia airline’s Flight 9268 carrying Russian tourists home on board an Airbus A321 aircraft crashed 30 minutes after taking off. The plane wreckage was spotted in the north of the Sinai Peninsula, some 100 kilometers south of the city of El-Arish.

There were 217 passengers and seven crew members on board, most of them were Russian nationals. According to Egypt’s officials, no one survived.

November 1 is declared a day of mourning in Russia.

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