Nearly a month after Odisha's train accident, victims' kin still wait for bodies

As many as 35 persons are camping at the guest house while 15 others have left for home due to a delay in the arrival of DNA reports.
The accident site from the triple train crash in Odisha's Balasore district, where at least 288 people were killed and over 1,100 were injured. (Photo | ANI)
The accident site from the triple train crash in Odisha's Balasore district, where at least 288 people were killed and over 1,100 were injured. (Photo | ANI)

BHUBANESWAR: There is no end to the misery and anguish of the kin of the June 2 Odisha train mishap victims as they continue to wait for the bodies of their near and dear ones, almost four weeks after the deadly accident that claimed nearly 300 lives.

Basanti Devi from Bari-Ballia village in Bihar's Begusarai district has been camping in a guest house located at an isolated area near AIIMS for the last 10 days to claim her husband's body.

"I'm here for my husband Yogendra Paswan, a contract labourer. He was killed in the accident at Bahanaga Bazar while returning home in the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express," she said as tears rolled down her cheeks. She claimed that officials haven't given her any deadline for when she will get the body.

"While some officials say it will take 5 more days, others say it might take more time. There is just no clarity by the administration," she added.

"I have five kids. I have left behind three kids and brought two sons with me. My husband was the sole breadwinner. I don't know how I will be able to survive," she added.

Similar is the situation of Narayan Rishidev from Purnia, who has been waiting to claim the body of his grandson Suraj Kumar since June 4. Suraj was travelling to Chennai in the ill-fated Coromandel Express.

After completing his matriculation, Suraj was heading to Chennai in search of a job.

"The authorities have already taken my DNA sample, but the report is yet to come," he added.

Shivkant Roy from West Bengal's Cooch Behar district said his son Vipul was returning home from Tirupati for his marriage in June-end.

"My son's body was kept at KIMS Hospital but I kept looking for him in a Balasore hospital. I was later informed that KIMS Hospital handed over the body to someone from Bihar, who took it with him and cremated it," Shivkant Roy told PTI.

Similarly, Rajkali Devi from Bihar's Muzaffarpur has been waiting for her husband's body who was on his way to Chennai.

As many as 35 persons are camping at the guest house while 15 others have left for home due to a delay in the arrival of DNA reports.

Calls and messages from PTI to AIIMS director Ashutosh Biswas went unanswered.

A railway official told PTI that they were appealing to claimants to provide their DNA samples.

"We are just a bridge between AIIMS and the state government," the railway official said.

Meanwhile, the identities of 81 bodies preserved in three containers at Bhubaneswar AIIMS are yet to be ascertained. A total of 84 families have been given DNA samples so far.

The Chennai-bound Coromandel Express, Howrah-bound SMVP-Howrah Superfast Express and a goods train were involved in a deadly accident near Bahanaga Bazar station in Balasore district on June 2 killing more than 290 people.

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