Wrong body delivered to funeral of Israeli woman killed in Chile accident
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Wrong body delivered to funeral of Israeli woman killed in Chile accident

Shortly before Dina Porat’s funeral in Rishpon, family finds body of a different victim in the incident; Foreign Ministry blames local Chileans

A boat that overturned in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile, on February 23, 2019 (Chilean Navy via Channel 13 screen capture)
A boat that overturned in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile, on February 23, 2019 (Chilean Navy via Channel 13 screen capture)

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.

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.

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.

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