Tragic death of Romford holidaymaker, 26
�Family and friends of a popular Romford man who died abroad have had to raise thousands of pounds to fly his body home – after his insurers refused to pay out.
Shane Virmani had just turned 26 when he died on Monday, August 6, while on a boys’ holiday in Malia, Crete.But insurers would not pay the �5,500 needed to repatriate the body.
The devastated friends of the supermarket worker set up a GoFundMe webpage called Help Shane get home and, incredibly, raised the cash in just over a week. Shane’s body arrived home on Wednesday.
On the page his family thanked those who helped.
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A message from his mother Melanie Virmani read: “Thank you all for your kind thoughts and support, some of the messages have left me in tears, but I’m very blessed and proud that Shane was my son and loved so very much.”
Shane, from Wilson Court, Union Road, had been Tweeting how excited he was about his trip to the Greek island – and how he was looking forward to another holiday in Ibiza.
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A friend told the Recorder. “I’m gutted that he’s gone. I don’t even think it’s sunk in yet.
“Everyone’s just concentrating on helping to get his body back. I think once he’s properly laid to rest we’ll feel it then.”
She added: “He was so well known in Romford; everywhere you went with him people knew him. Everyone’s devastated that he’s gone.”
Along with donations, heartbreaking tributes have been pouring into the webpage.
Jas Taak wrote: “There’s no words to describe the feelings right now. I’m going to miss your bubbly character, your greeting of a wink and your cheeky smile. You will never be forgotten, always in our memories!”
June Lawford added: “So sorry that such a tragedy could occur while so far from home and family. Heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.”
More than 130 people attended a memorial on Wednesday.
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman confirmed: “We are aware of the death of a British national on August 6 2012. We are providing consular assistance to his family.”