Odisha train tragedy: 29 of 81 bodies identified through DNA testing

To identify the 81 dead bodies, 88 DNA samples were sent to New Delhi, of which test reports of 29 claimants have arrived, said Bhubaneswar Mayor Sulochana Das.

Bhubaneswar: Four weeks after the deadly train accident in Odisha’s Balasore district, the concerned authority was able to identify 29 of 81 dead bodies preserved in containers in AIIMS Bhubaneswar.

To identify the 81 dead bodies, 88 DNA samples were sent to New Delhi, of which test reports of 29 claimants have arrived, said Bhubaneswar Mayor Sulochana Das.

“We have informed the family members of the identified 29 deceased. Five people have already arrived at AIIMS and others will also come soon,” she said.

At least 293 people died and over 1,000 were injured after the Chennai-bound Coromandel Express, Howrah bound SMVP-Howrah Superfast Express and a goods train were involved in a tragic accident near the Bahanaga Bazar railway station in Odisha’s Balasore district on June 2 evening.

Of the total deceased, 81 bodies remained unidentified as the government has halted the process to hand over the bodies after multiple persons came to claim a single body. The other bodies have been handed over to the family members of the deceased after verification of related documents.

Samples of hair, teeth, bone, nails and muscle tissue for each of these victims were sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) in New Delhi. Of which, DNA reports of 29 bodies matching with their claimants have been received by the AIIMS Bhubaneswar. The test reports of remaining bodies will come up in another two phases, the source said.

After getting information about the arrival of DNA reports, the family members of train tragedy victims rushed to the AIIMS and waited to get bodies of their loved ones. The officials of Bhubaneswar municipal corporation, Railways, Odisha transport department and AIIMS are there in the hospital premises. The identified dead bodies will be handed over to the family members in presence of officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the source said.

The Odisha transport department will provide free transportation to those family members who want to take bodies to their native place. About 10 ambulances have been kept ready in AIIMS premises, said a transport department official.

If any family member decided to perform the last rites in Bhubaneswar, the local administration has made all arrangements for them in Bharatpur and Satya Nagar crematories.

(IANS)

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