Four months after Odisha train tragedy, 28 unclaimed bodies to be mass cremated | spcilvly

More than four months after the railway tragedy that involved two express trains and a goods train near Bahanaga Bazar station in Balasore district of Odisha, killed 296 passengers and left over 1,100 injured, the Municipal Corporation Bhubaneswar on Sunday said 28 unclaimed bodies lying in super-frozen containers of AIIMS Bhubaneswar would be mass cremated in Bhubaneswar over the next few days.

In what was India's worst train accident in three decades, 296 passengers were killed and more than 1,100 injured in the triple train accident in Odisha's Balasore district on June 2.  (File Photo/PTI)
In what was India’s worst train accident in three decades, 296 passengers were killed and more than 1,100 injured in the triple train accident in Odisha’s Balasore district on June 2. (File Photo/PTI)

On the afternoon of June 2, the Chennai-bound Coromandel Express crashed into a stopped freight train at Bahanaga Bazar station in Balasore, and some of its derailed coaches then collided with the Howrah-bound Yeshwantpur-Howrah Express. , on what was the worst railway in India. accident in three decades.

Of the 296 dead, 162 bodies were kept at the AIIMS Bhubaneswar mortuary, of which 81 bodies were handed over to the loved ones of the deceased after identification. Of the remaining 81, AIIMS authorities handed over 53 bodies after conducting DNA tests, while 28 bodies were not found. As most of the unclaimed bodies belong to migrant workers from remote areas of northern West Bengal, bordering Bangladesh, and had arrived alone in search of work, it was unlikely that there would be any claimant for the bodies. Although unclaimed bodies were to be disposed of within 30 days as per the police manual, the delay was due to an ongoing CBI investigation.

“The CBI recently wrote to the Khurda district collector to go ahead with the cremation of the unidentified bodies, after which we were asked to be prepared. A CBI team is likely to be present during the exercise of taking bodies from AIIMS to the crematorium. We are not sure when they will come,” said BMC commissioner Vijay Amruta Kulange.

Kulange said his officials would decide Monday morning whether to begin cremation on Monday or Tuesday.

The BMC has decided to provide two to three body transporters for smooth transportation of dead bodies from AIIMS to the cremation ground. The AIIMS authorities would hand over the bodies to the BMC health officer following the existing rules and guidelines of the state, Center and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for cremation of the bodies. The entire process from receiving the bodies to cremation will be filmed.

An investigation by the Commissioner of Railway Safety found that a rushed maintenance operation was the main cause of the accident, as it interfered with the line’s electronic interlocking system that placed the Coromondel Express in the path of the stopped freight train. The CBI, which investigated the case, arrested and charged three railway officials, including a senior section engineer, for the tragedy.

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