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Costa Concordia tragedy: 3 years later, only Indian victim laid to rest

On the night of January 12, 2012, the 290-meter long cruise liner rammed into rocks killing 32 of 4,229 people.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
February 23, 2015 1:33:16 am
At Russel Rebello’s funeral in Naigaon on Sunday. (Source: Express Photo) At Russel Rebello’s funeral in Naigaon on Sunday. (Source: Express Photo)

Naigaon-native Russel Rebello, the victim of the 2012 Costa Concordia tragedy, whose remains were found in November last year, was finally laid to rest on Sunday afternoon at a church near his residence, almost three years after he was killed in the accident in Italy.

On the night of January 12, 2012, the 290-meter long cruise liner rammed into the rocks near the Isola Di Giglio in Italy on the night of January 13, 2012, killing 32 of the 4,229 passengers and crew members on board. Russel was the only victim unaccounted for and his skeletal remains were finally found on the Deck Number Four of the liner, which is currently being dismantled in a dry dock in Genoa, in November last year. The remains were flown to India on Saturday.

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The funeral procession left Russel’s residence in Naigaon, Vasai at around 2.30 pm on Sunday and reached the Mother of God Church in Naigaon at around 3 pm. Several family members and friends shared memories about Russel at funeral.

“More than 800 people had come for the funeral, which included Russel’s friends, colleagues and other well wishers in the locality. I also got emails from families of the other victims of the tragedy from all over the world,” Russel’s brother Kevin told Newsline.

For Kevin, it was the end of a three year long journey, during which he tirelessly followed up with authorities in Italy so that he could bring his brother home for a proper Christian burial. Sunday’s funeral was the fulfillment of a promise that Kevin made to himself.

Many eyes were on Russel’s wife Wilma and their six year old son Rhys, who had grown up without really knowing his father. “Rhys was at the funeral without really knowing whose funeral he was attending. We will tell him everything about his father once he is old enough,” said Kevin.

mumbai.newsline@expressindia.com

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