The bodies of two victims of a fire that gutted coach S11 of Tamil Nadu Express (12622) on Monday near Nellore were sent by flight to their respective States after being embalmed here.
Southern Railway officials accompanied the families of victims who had gone to Nellore to identify the bodies of their loved ones.
At the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, Javed Ahmed Bhat waited with his cousins while the body of his brother Riyaz Ahmed Bhat (25) was being embalmed. Javed had visited his brother two months ago, at home in Pulwama, Kashmir. “He was supposed to join me,” Javed said of Riyaz, who had completed an M.Ed. in history at Barkatulla University in Bhopal, and was planning to pursue an M. Phil at Annamalai University in Chidambaram where Javed is pursing his M. Phil in Management Studies.
“He was an athletic young man, and played cricket,” Javed recalled.
Riyaz Ahmed Bhat (25) who boarded the train from Bhopal was in seat no. 42. His friend Shaukat also died in the accident.
Zakir Hussain (43) who was six seats away was travelling from Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh to Chennai on business. He had boarded the train in Agra. “He has a factory making locks there,” said his cousin Abid Ali, who had come to identify his body. Hussain has three young children aged seven, five and three years. “He comes to Chennai to supply building hardware to traders here,” Mr. Ali said.
The families have a word of praise for the Indian Railways. “They have made all the arrangements for us. We are thankful to them for that,” Mr. Ali and his relatives said. The Railways made arrangement for the bodies of the victims to be brought to the GH by ambulance from Nellore and later to be transported to their respective homes.
On Monday, the body of G. Jagannathan was brought from Nellore and then transported from Chennai to Sankarankoil. The bodies of four of the victims hailing from Tirunelveli were also despatched by ambulance.
According to Forensic Sciences Department officials here, the Railways had approached them for analysis of DNA samples. Deputy Director Kamalakshi Krishnamurthy said, “If a body is completely charred there is nothing we can do. However, if some tissue or the femur bone is preserved, then a DNA analysis can be done.” She further added that there are centres in Andhra Pradesh to do the analysis and since the Nellore police would have registered the case, the analysis might be done in AP itself.