Authorities in Odisha began addressing the challenge of identifying unclaimed bodies of the deceased days after hundreds were killed in one of the deadliest train accidents.
Of the 278 dead, 177 bodies have been identified while another 101 need to be identified and handed over to their families.
So far, the collision of the Coromandel Express with a goods train and the Bengaluru–Howrah Superfast Express has resulted in 278 casualties and over 1,200 people have been injured.
AIIMS, Bhubaneswar has started DNA sampling of the claimants as over 100 bodies from the accident lie unclaimed at different hospitals, PTI reported.
PTI quoted an official as saying that the bodies have now been shifted to the five containers where they can be preserved for a longer period. The official added there should be no hurry in disposing of the bodies after DNA sampling as they can be preserved in a container for six months.
More than 12 anatomy and forensic experts from AIIMS, Nagpur, and Raipur have been engaged in the process to embalm the bodies to preserve them for more days.
Meanwhile, the Government Railway Police (GRP) said that around 40 bodies had no visible injury marks and are believed to have died of electrocution.
To help families locate their kin affected by the accident, three online links with photos of those killed and lists of passengers admitted to different hospitals have been prepared. The railways appealed to people to use the three links — link of photos of the deceased ( https:rcodisha.nic.in/Photos%20Of%20Deceased%20with%20Disclaimer.pdf ), link of lists of passengers undergoing treatment in different hospitals ( https://www.bmc.gov.in/train-accident/download/Lists-of-Passengers-Undergoing-Treatment-in-Different-Hospitals_040620230830.pdf ), and link of unidentified persons under treatment at SCB Cuttack ( https://www.bmc.gov.in/train-accident/download/Un-identified-person-under-treatment-at-SCB-Cuttack.pdf ). The Railway Helpline number 139 is working round the clock for connecting the families/relatives of passengers, while the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation Helpline number 18003450061/1929 is also working 24×7.