One more passenger succumbs, Odisha train tragedy death toll rises to 290

Howrah Superfast Express which went off the track after being hit by the derailed coaches of Coromandel Express. He was working in a ceramic factory at Ongole in Andhra Pradesh.  
An aerial view of the triple train crash site in Odisha's Balasore district. (Photo | Debadatta Mallick, EPS)
An aerial view of the triple train crash site in Odisha's Balasore district. (Photo | Debadatta Mallick, EPS)

BHUBANESWAR: The death toll in the Odisha train tragedy rose to 290 after one more passenger succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment at SCB medical college and hospital in Cuttack on Friday.Prakash Ram, a 22-year-old migrant labourer from Pathra village in Bihar’s Gopalganj district, was critically injured in the June 2 train crash at Bahanaga Bazar station.

With head injury, completely fractured left hand and left leg amputated below the knee, Ram was shifted from FM medical college and hospital at Balasore to SCB MCH on June 3. “His amputated limb was infected from the site of the accident and did not improve despite  all attempts. He succumbed to septicemia at about 7.20 am,” the hospital said in a statement.

The only earning member of his family, Ram was returning home in the general coach of Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express which went off the track after being hit by the derailed coaches of Coromandel Express. He was working in a ceramic factory at Ongole in Andhra Pradesh.  

Ram’s mother Pramila Devi said his son’s condition was critical. “He started vomiting in the morning and then passed away in an hour. He was the breadwinner of our family as his father is mentally unstable and the elder son is a cowherd. How can we survive?” she told reporters.  

Of the 920 injured passengers, around 100 are undergoing treatment at different hospitals in Balasore, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. Among the 47 injured passengers admitted to SCB MCH, 20 are from West Bengal, 13 from Bihar, 10 from Odisha and one each from Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Nepal and Tamil Nadu. Even two weeks after the tragic mishap, the identity of 81 bodies are yet to be established.

The bodies have been stored in five containers at AIIMS, Bhubaneswar. Around 78 claimants, who have provided their blood samples for DNA cross matching are waiting for the reports. Meanwhile, a team of CBI officials has visited AIIMS and collected documents related to the bodies and their claimants. They also interacted with the doctors involved in embalming and autopsy of bodies.

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