External Affairs Ministry
Press Release on Indian Nationals Missing in the Attacks
New Dehli, India
September 19, 2001

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, the number of missing Indian nationals and persons of Indian origin is estimated about 250. The help lines established in the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi and the Consulate General of India, New York continue to render information and support to anxious relatives and friends of the missing persons. The help line of ministry of External Affairs has forwarded 364 enquiries from India about missing persons and has already been able to confirm that 90 persons out of these are safe.

Preparations have also been made to facilitate local cremation and transportation of ashes or transportation of mortal remains of Indian nationals, from USA to India. Air India will provide free transportation of mortal remains of Indian nationals to Delhi/Mumbai, upon authorization by Indian Ambassador/Consul General. Similarly, Indian Airlines will provide free onward transportation of mortal remains up to the airport nearest to the native place of the deceased. Indian railways will also provide all the reservation to the escort on priority. Facilitation counters would operate at the international airports in New Delhi and Mumbai to ensure that the arriving bodies/ashes are cleared promptly and smoothly. All passports issuing authorities have been instructed that passport should be issued immediately, without levying Tatkal charges, to immediate relatives of any injured or missing person.

The Consulate General of India in New York is in constant touch with Family Assistance Center established by the New York City authorities. Family members and friends of the victims can contact the consulate General for necessary guidance and assistance.