TEL AVIV – Only moments before the funeral was slated to take place, the family of an Israeli woman killed in a boating accident in Chile last week discovered that the wrong body had been sent for burial.
Dina Porat, 71, was one of three Israeli women killed when a raft capsized in southern Chile last week.
About 100 people had gathered for the funeral in Rishpon in central Israel, when it was discovered that the body in the casket belonged to Galila Biton, another victim killed in the accident.
Biton’s funeral was set to take place on Thursday. Porat’s funeral was consequently postponed until the next day.
The Foreign Ministry expressed “regret” but said Chilean authorities were to blame for the mix-up.
“The Israeli consul in Chile, who accompanied the event from the moment the disaster was announced, was present together with the representatives of the families of the deceased in the funeral home in Punta Arenas and together with them for the identification of the victims and the signing of the coffins,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“The coffins were flown to Chile’s capital Santiago on their last trip to Israel. Apparently it was local officials responsible for the flight who mixed the flight documents of the victims.”
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses regret over the distress caused to the families, and the Israeli ambassador to Chile immediately checked the entire process with the local authorities in Chile and their responsibility for the mishap,” the ministry said.
The third victim in the accident is Dalia Ronen, 76, mother of Israel’s ambassador to Uruguay Galit Ronen.