UAE to probe Wattala deaths

A team of UAE police officials and doctors have arrived in Sri Lanka to investigate the death of an Emirati mother and her 14-month-old child.

The family of three from Ras Al Khaimah arrived in Sri Lanka on an Etihad flight at 5am on Tuesday and were taken to the emergency room of Hemas Hospital at 8pm.

The child, Ali Mohammed Ali Al Mazroui, arrived at the hospital unconscious and could not be revived. His mother, Dalal Ali Saif Obaid Al Mazroui, 23, died 45 minutes later.

The father, Mohammad Ali Obaid Al Mazroui, 24, is in recovery.

“They were not well ever since they arrived in the country,” said Dr Samanthi De Silva, Head of Medical Services at Hemas Hospital in Wattala, Colombo.

According to their tour guide Mr Laksham, after arriving in Sri Lanka at 5am the family checked into a hotel in Seeduwa. They said they were not feeling well and were taken to a general hospital to be treated with IV fluids, said Dr De Silva.

According to Mr Laksham, the family then left the hospital against medical advice and returned to their hotel. Later in the evening, hotel staff asked the guide to return and take them back to hospital because the child was very sick.

“They were brought to the emergency room by their tourist guide in a critical condition. The child was not responding, unconscious and with no blood pressure. We tried to revive him but he was declared dead at 9pm,” she said.

“The mother was rushed to the ICU but died at around 9.45pm,” she said.She said Mr Al Mazroui was still being treated in ICU but that he was recovering, responding well to treatment and out of danger.

Police took the bodies of the mother and child to North Colombo Teaching Hospital for post-mortem at about 2.30pm, UAE time.

Dr De Silva said they were waiting for representatives from the UAE to conduct their own postmortem. “We will know the exact cause of death once the postmortem is finished,” she said.

An official at the UAE embassy in Colombo confirmed that the exact cause of death was yet to be determined, but said they hoped to have confirmation later today.

“The ambassador and other diplomats stayed with the father in the hospital all night,” he said. “And the relatives of the family flew in this morning.”

News of the death has come as a shock to the mountain village of Wadi Koob, a community of about 70 families. Mohammed and his wife live with his parents and siblings, as per Emirati tradition.

“Those people are kind people, they are good people,” said Abdullah Saif, 28, a resident of Wadi Koob. “All the people here in Wadi Koob they are sad, everybody is sad when they heard about Mohammed and his family. We are all feeling tired now for them.”

Close relatives said that the family will be buried immediately upon return from Sri Lanka.

“Everybody is praying for Mohammed and his family. In Wadi Koob everybody is quiet and sad.”

Mohammed works for the police and had been married for about two years. They were visiting Sri Lanka as tourists.

Family said that Dalal’s brother and three of Mohammed’s uncles and had flown to Sri Lanka but his parents have been too upset to travel and “cannot believe” the deaths.

“You cannot describe their situation right now,” said Saif Saeed, 35, a close relative. “They still are not believing what has happened suddenly like this. They hope and they are waiting for their son to return, at least for one of their family to come back.” (The National)