DNA tests to identify train fire victims

Mumbai, Jan. Jan 9:

DNA tests will be conducted on four unidentified bodies of the nine passengers who died in Wednesday’s Dehradun Express fire in Thane, near the Maharashtra-Gujarat border, an official said here Thursday.

“Their bodies have been burnt beyond recognition and hence it has been decided to conduct DNA tests,” a Western Railway spokesperson told IANS.

The victims are believed to have been travelling in S-2 and S-3 coaches, which along with S-4 caught fire around 2.35 a.m. early Wednesday near Gholvad, around 145 km north of Mumbai.

The bodies are in custody of the Government Railway Police which will arrange for the DNA testing and later complete the formalities of handing these over to the bereaved families.

Nine passengers, including a woman, were killed when a fire engulfed the three sleeper coaches of the speeding Mumbai Bandra Terminus-Dehradun Express.

The fire which ravaged three sleeper coaches of the train caught the sleeping passengers unawares. It was first noticed by Jawahar Singh, a level-crossing gateman who alerted the Gholvad station master.

The Commissioner of Railway Safety will conduct an inquiry.

Five of the nine, who succumbed to asphyxiation, were identified as: Deepika Shah, 65; Dev Shankar Upadhyay, 48; Surendra Shah, 68; Nasirkhan Ahmedkhan Pathan, 50, and Feroz Khan, 38.


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