Indian man missing in Turkey quake found dead

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Kotdwar (Uttarakhand): An Indian national missing in Turkey since the massive earthquake on February 6 was found dead on Saturday in the rubble of a hotel where he was staying.

Vijay Kumar Gaud, who hailed from Uttarakhand's Pauri district and was working for a Bengaluru-based company, had gone to Turkey on an official assignment.

With his face crushed beyond recognition, Gaud was identified with a tattoo of the word "Om" on one of his hands, his family said here quoting Indian embassy officials.

Gaud was a resident of Padampur area in Kotdwar in Pauri district. His clothes had been found on Friday.

"We inform with sorrow that the mortal remains of Shri Vijay Kumar, an Indian national missing in Turkey since February 6 earthquake, have been found and identified among the debris of a hotel in Malatya, where he was on a business trip," the Indian embassy in Turkey tweeted.

Gaud's wife and son, who were hoping against hope for some positive news, were inconsolable as their worst fears had come true. Friends and relatives flocked to Gaud's house to express their condolences to the bereaved family.

His body will first be flown to Istanbul and then taken to Delhi. It may take three days for his body to reach Kotdwar, family sources said quoting Indian embassy officials.

"Our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. We are making arrangements for the earliest possible transportation of his mortal remains to his family," the embassy said on Twitter.

Gaud worked for Oxy Plant India Pvt Ltd and was on an official assignment, his elder brother Arun Kumar Gaud said.

"His phone rings but no one responds," Arun had told PTI after his brother went missing.

His wife and six-year-old son had last talked to him on the phone on February 5 and he was to return to India on February 20, he had said.

The Ministry of External Affairs had said on Wednesday that an Indian was missing and 10 others were stuck but safe in remote regions following the quake.

The number of Indians residing in Turkey was around 3,000, out of which about 1,800 live in and around Istanbul, while 250 were in Ankara and the rest were spread all over the country, according to officials.

The hotel where Gaud was staying collapsed on the morning of February 6 when the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey leaving behind a trail of death and destruction. Over 23,000 people have died in the region due to the temblor.


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