AIIMS still has 41 unclaimed bodies of victims in 3-train tragedy of Odisha’s Balasore

Bhubaneswar: There are at least 41 unclaimed bodies of the victims in the 3-train tragedy of Balasore, the Executive Director of AIIMS-Bhubaneswar Dr Ashutosh Biswas said today.

“We are conducting DNA tests only after the preserved mortal remains of a deceased is being claimed by the victim’s family. Very few people are coming these days to claim a body. It is a continuous process and bodies are being transferred if the DNA is matching. The bodies can be preserved for some more days. No decision has been taken so far for the cremation of the unclaimed bodies,” Biswas informed.

Replying to an unstarred question in Rajya Sabha, Railway Minister Ashwini Kumar Vaishnaw yesterday said that till 16th July 2023, a total of Rs 29.49 crore has been paid as enhanced ex-gratia. Rs 10 lakh to each deceased’s next of kin, Rs 2 lakh each to the grievously injured persons and Rs 50,000 each to the passengers with simple injury.

Cause of the accident as reported by the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) is: The rear-collision was due to the lapses in the signalling circuit alteration carried out at the North Signal Goomty (of the railway station) in the past, and during the execution of the signalling work related to replacement of Electric Lifting Barrier for level crossing Gate No-94 at the Station.

These lapses resulted in wrong signalling to Train No-12841 wherein the UP Home Signal indicated a Green aspect for run-through movement on the UP main line of the railway station, but the crossover connecting the UP main line to the UP loop line (crossover 17A/B) was set to the UP loop line; the wrong signalling resulted in the Train No-12841 traversing on the UP loop line, and eventual rear-collision with the Goods train (No-N/DDIP) standing there.

It is pertinent to mention, seven employees have been suspended from their services in connection with the horrific train accident that took place on June 2 evening near Bahanaga Bazaar railway station of Odisha’s Balasore and claimed the lives of at least 295 people and injured around 1,175 others.

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