Three months after the triple train crash in Odisha’s Bahanaga Bazar station claimed 296 lives, as many as 28 bodies are yet to be identified even as they remain preserved in special containers at AIIMS, Bhubaneswar.
In the last one month, only one body has been handed over after its identification following DNA profiling as it matched with the DNA of the claimant. “A few more samples have been sent to the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory (CFSL), New Delhi for cross-matching with the DNA of the bodies. We are waiting for the report,” said AIIMS, Bhubaneswar superintendent Dillip Kumar Parida.
To queries on disposal of the bodies, Parida said the railway board and the state government will take a call on it.
According to AIIMS Bhubaneswar authorities, no further decomposition of the bodies has taken place as they have been preserved in special containers.
The accident took place on June 2 when the Chennai-bound Coromandel Express rammed into a stationary freight train at Bahanaga Bazar station in Odisha’s Balasore district. Some of the derailed coaches collided with the Yeshvantpur Express returning to Howrah from the opposite direction.
Official sources said most of the deceased are from Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand, who were either heading to or returning from the southern cities where they work to earn a livelihood.
Following reports of multiple claimants over some bodies, the authorities had collected nails, hair and skin from the bodies and sent them to CFSL for DNA profiling. Blood samples of the family members, who came to claim the bodies, were also collected and sent to the central laboratory for matching. Bodies were handed over only after cross-matching of DNAs.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that had taken over the probe into the triple train crash had arrested three railway staff members in July. The railway board also suspended seven officials, including the three accused officers, on charges of alleged negligence in duty, which led to the accident.
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