The family of an Israeli woman killed in a boating accident in Chile last week discovered the wrong body in her casket minutes ahead of her funeral Tuesday.
Dina Porat, 71, was one of three Israeli women killed in a rafting accident in southern Chile on February 23, which occurred when a raft carrying over a dozen Israeli tourists overturned on a river in the Torres del Paine national park.
Ahead of the funeral in Rishpon in central Israel, Porat’s family found that instead of her body, they were sent the body of another victim in the accident, 61-year-old Galila Biton, whose funeral was slated for tomorrow in Nesher, near Haifa.
The Foreign Ministry expressed “regret” for the incident, but placed the blame for the mix-up on local Chileans.
— החדשות (@NewsChannelIL) February 24, 2019
According to a statement from the ministry, the Israeli consul verified the identities of the victims along with the families and sealed the caskets. Israel’s ambassador was investigating whether local workers in charge of flying the bodies back home mixed up the caskets.
The Porat funeral has been delayed until her casket arrives from Chile in the next day or two, according to the Foreign Ministry.
הותר לפרסום: גלילה ביטון, בת 61 מנשר, היא אחת ההרוגות בתאונת השיט בצ'ילה. בעלה מוטי מאושפז כעת עם שברים בגופו (מיכל וסרמן) צילום: באדיבות המשפחה pic.twitter.com/7MEIe9Gzk7
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) February 24, 2019
The third victim in the rafting accident is Dalia Ronen, 76, mother of Israel’s ambassador to Uruguay Galit Ronen. She was severely injured and was declared dead four days after the incident.
Over a dozen people were wounded in the accident. The victims were all in their 60s and 70s, part of a group with the Massaot tour company.
Local police said last week that an investigation had been opened into the incident.
According to Hebrew media reports, officials believe a log or piece of driftwood lodged itself in the motor and caused the skipper to lose control of the raft. The vessel then crashed into an obstacle in the river, hurling its occupants into the currents.