Rafting in Chile

The funeral of a victim of the Chile boating tragedy was postponed at the last minute when family members discovered the wrong body about to be buried on Tuesday.

Dina Porat and Glila Biton died when a boat capsized during a trip with Massaot Tours to South America last week.

Sixteen Israelis in the group were injured in the incident that stunned families back in Israel.

Israel Ambassador to Chile, Eldad Hayat, liaised with the Department for Israelis Abroad in the Foreign Ministry’s Consular Department to have the bodies brought back to Israel but a monumental mistake has caused extra heartache to the family of Ms Porat at the Rishpon Cemetery.

Over 100 people had gathered for the memorial service when Dina’s daughter requested to see the body of her mother only to view the body of Ms Biton in the coffin.

The funeral was delayed for 24 hours as Chevra Kaddisha switch the bodies.

Israeli Foreign Ministry officials have blamed Chilean officials for a dreadful mix up in the identify documents of the deceased.

The ministry said in a statement that Israel’s consul in southern Chile accompanied families of the deceased to Punta Arenas where the bodies were identified prior to being sent to Santiago then repatriated to Israel.

Israeli Consul General to Chile, Leon Sussia, visited the injured in hospitals.

By Howard Lawrence