x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 September 2017

Money to be sent to dead UAE maid's Ethiopia family

The sponsor of an Ethiopian housemaid who died of injuries sustained in a gas explosion says he will send money raised through public appeals to her family in Ethiopia.

DUBAI // The sponsor of an Ethiopian housemaid who died of injuries sustained in a gas explosion says he will send money raised through public appeals to her family in Ethiopia.

Azeb Abebe, 24, suffered more than 80 per cent burns when a gas leak at her sponsor's home in Al Barsha resulted in an explosion. She died on August 2 after 18 days in Rashid Hospital.

"After defying all medical opinion for 18 days, her body finally gave up her battle," said Masood Salem, her Indian employer, who has raised nearly Dh70,000 through Facebook appeals and iftar dinners to pay for her medical bills.

Abebe did not have medical insurance, but hospital authorities waived her treatment costs.

"We have spoken to the Ethiopian consulate and want to channel the funds to her family," Mr Salem said.

Mr Salem said Abebe has a 4-year-old son in Ethiopia. Her mother is partially disabled and her father is terminally ill.

The Ethiopian consulate said it had informed Abebe's sister in Oman of her death and will soon notify her parents in Ethiopia.

"We have communicated to the Ethiopian government on Monday," said Mesganu Arga Moach, the Ethiopian consul general, who visited Abebe in Rashid Hospital a day before she passed away.

"Her family might be in shock. We want to be careful how we communicate it to them. When I visited her last, it was quite clear she would not make it," he said.

Mr Moach said that Abebe's family would also be informed about seeking compensation from the sponsor.

"Abebe's family should decide on the compensation amount they want. The family will be informed and, if they want to approach the court for compensation, we will support them.

"We have discussed with the sponsors and they are willing to pay compensation to the family," he said, adding that he hoped the matter would be resolved amicably.

Mr Salem said he would pay to repatriate Abebe's body once police procedures are complete.

pkannan@thenational.ae