Victims’ kin continue search as bodies reach Bhubaneswar

On Sunday, 170 unidentified/unclaimed bodies were shifted from Balasore to mortuaries of various hospitals in Bhubaneswar.
People inquire about their relatives at the help desk on AIIMS premises
People inquire about their relatives at the help desk on AIIMS premises

BHUBANESWAR: Rescue operation of the Bahanaga railway mishap might have ended but the ordeal of many people desperately searching for their near and dear ones who were travelling in the two trains on the fateful night, hasn’t.

Government informed that out of 275 bodies, 78 have been identified and handed over to the family members. Till filing of this report, another 10 bodies had also been identified and the process initiated to hand them over to their kin.

On Sunday, 170 unidentified/unclaimed bodies were shifted from Balasore to mortuaries of various hospitals in Bhubaneswar. Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena said Balasore Collector Dattatraya Bhausaheb Shinde has started the process to shift 17 more bodies to the hospitals in the Capital city. The bodies have been preserved at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Capital Hospital, SUM Hospital, Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) and AMRI.

Several people thronged the AIIMS and other hospitals on the day hoping that their long ordeal might end. One among them was Abhijit Samai, a native of West Bengal, who has been searching for his brother-in-law Shivsankar Das at Balasore for the last two days. In fact, Das - a resident of Purba Medinipur - had boarded the Coromandel Express on Friday to come to AIIMS at Bhubaneswar.

He was supposed to get an endoscopy done. After boarding the train, he had spoken to his wife and that was the last time she heard of him. After getting the news of the accident, Samai rushed to Balasore to find Das’ wherabouts and reached AIIMS on the day. “But there is no trace of him here either. His parents will arrive here tomorrow and we will search for him in other hospitals,” he said.

Unlike Samai, the family of Sheikh Sohail Ali of Kharagpur was fortunate. They found his mutilated body at AIIMS after searching through mortuaries in Balasore, Bhadrak and Cuttack. “We were told that his body has been shifted to AIIMS and we found it here,” said his cousin who completed all the formalities to take the body back home. Sohail, an 18-year-old migrant labourer who worked in Chennai, was the sole bread earner of his family.  

Chief secretary Pradeep Jena said  photographs of the bodies have been uploaded on the websites of special relief commissioner, Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) for identification purposes.

BMC HELP FOR FAMILIES

A help desk has been set up at BMC office in Satya Nagar for extending assistance to family members/relatives of the victims.
A helpline 1929 has been activated
A MoBus set aside at BMC office for family members of victims to travel to hospitals where bodies have been kept?

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