Odisha train accident: Over 100 bodies await identification

As many as 10 samples have so far been collected from the claimants, a senior official of AIIMS, Bhubaneswar said

Updated - June 06, 2023 02:01 pm IST

Published - June 06, 2023 12:13 pm IST - BHUBANESWAR

A woman shows a photograph of her husband Manoj whose body she has been unable to identify after Friday’s train accident in Balasore, at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences hospital in Bhubaneswar, in the eastern state of Odisha on June 6, 2023.

A woman shows a photograph of her husband Manoj whose body she has been unable to identify after Friday’s train accident in Balasore, at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences hospital in Bhubaneswar, in the eastern state of Odisha on June 6, 2023. | Photo Credit: AP

With over 100 bodies from Balasore triple train accident pilling up in different hospitals here awaiting identification, AIIMS, Bhubaneswar has started DNA sampling of the claimants, an official said on June 6.

As many as 10 samples have so far been collected from the claimants, a senior official of AIIMS, Bhubaneswar said.

He said the bodies have now been shifted to the five containers where they can be preserved for longer period.

The official said there should be no hurry in disposing the bodies after DNA sampling as they can be preserved in container for six months.

Of the 278 dead persons, 177 bodies have been identified while another 101 need to be identified and handed over to their families.

AIIMS, Bhubaneswar had received 123 bodies of which around 64 have been identified.

A claimant from, Jharkhand on Tuesday alleged that they had on Monday identified body of Upendra Kumar Sharma, but it was handed over to someone other on June 6.

"What is the point of doing DNA sampling if the body has been handed over to someone other. We had identified Upendra from the tattoo mark on his body," the relative said.

However, Dr Pravas Tripathy, Deputy Superintendent of AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, said that the bodies were being handed over after detail inquiry. It is a fact that more than one family have been claiming a single body and for that DNA sampling is being done.

Replying a question, he said that it may require at least 7 to 10 days to get DNA sampling report.

As the bodies were now being kept in container, there should be no problem in preserving the bodies, he said.

Most of the victims belonged to West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu besides Odisha.

Meanwhile, three agencies - CBI, Commissioner of Railway safety (CRS) and GRP, Balasore - have begun inquiry into the Balasore triple train crash in which at least 278 people were killed.

Meanwhile, Khurda Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Rinkesh Roy suspected outside physical tampering of equipment for which the Coromandel express entered into the loop line and hit the iron laden goods train causing triple train crash on June 2.

Roy said when the Coromandel express passed through Bahanaga Bazar station, there was green signal on the main line. The signal is usually green when all the pre-conditions required for the signal to go green are perfect. If any of the pre-conditions does not meet, technically the signal can never turn green. Unless and until anyone tampers with the signal system, it remains red, Mr. Roy said.

Stating that the railways has a system called data logger where each event starting from the pushing of signal buttons gets recorded, the DRM said that the "data logger shows that there was green signal. It can't be possible unless someone has tampered with it."

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