BHUBANESWAR: With one more injured passenger succumbing to injuries at SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack on Sunday, the death toll in the Odisha train tragedy went up to 292. Hospital sources said 24-year-old Paltu Naskar from South 24 Parganas in West Bengal was admitted to the central ICU of the hospital and his condition was critical. “He had suffered multiple fractures with bleeding in internal organs. He had been on ventilator support since June 17 after his condition deteriorated. He breathed his last in the morning,” sources said.
While 288 passengers travelling in Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express and Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express were killed and 920 injured on the day of accident on June 2 at Bahanaga Bazaar station, four have succumbed to their injuries while undergoing treatment at SCB MCH so far. Of the 205 injured passengers admitted to the hospital, 45 are still under treatment, and the rest have been discharged. At least 12 critically injured passengers are in the ICU and the condition of two of them is critical.
As 81 bodies are still unidentified and have been kept in containers at AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, the Indian Railways has appealed to relatives of the deceased people to come forward for identification. In a public notice, the railways has urged the next of kin of the deceased involved in the train crash to come forward and provide their DNA samples to establish their identity and relationship with the deceased and claim the unidentified bodies.
The Indian Railways has also released a toll-free number along with helpline numbers of some railway officials for further assistance and ex-gratia and compensation-related issues, if any. Meanwhile, Union Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics and IT Ashwini Vaishnaw are scheduled to visit Bahanaga and interact with locals on Tuesday. He is slated to felicitate people, who had suo-motu come forward and rescue hundreds of passengers risking their lives.
Official sources said Vaishnaw would arrive in Odisha on a three-day visit starting Monday. He will inspect Puri railway station and review arrangements for pilgrims for the world-famous Rath Yatra in the evening.
After participating in the car festival on Tuesday forenoon, he will proceed to Bahanaga Bazaar to interact with locals. The minister will also visit the Balasore district headquarters hospital and meet health and district administration, officials. Later, the minister will inspect and review the development of Balasore railway station.