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Train accident: Odisha relying on DNA to identify 101 bodies

Updated on: 07 June,2023 08:37 AM IST  |  Bhubaneswar
Agencies |

AIIMS Bhubaneswar starts collecting DNA samples from claimants; CBI begins probe into alleged criminal negligence that killed 278 train passengers

Train accident: Odisha relying on DNA to identify 101 bodies

The body of a victim being loaded into an ambulance in Balasore, Odisha. File pic/PTI

With 101 unidentified bodies from Balasore train crash pilling up in different hospitals here, AIIMS Bhubaneswar has started DNA sampling of the claimants, an official said on Tuesday. As many as 10 samples have so far been collected from the claimants, a senior AIIMS official said. The official said there should be no hurry in disposing the bodies, which have been moved to five containers, after DNA sampling as they can be preserved for six months.

A Jharkhand family on Tuesday alleged that they had on Monday identified the body of Upendra Kumar Sharma from the tattoo, but it was handed over to someone else on Tuesday. But, Dr Pravas Tripathy, deputy superintendent of AIIMS Bhubaneswar, said the bodies were being handed over after a detailed inquiry. It is a fact that more than one family have been claiming a single body and for that DNA sampling is being done. He said that it may require 7 to 10 days to get a DNA sampling report.

CBI begins probe

The CBI filed an FIR at 2.15 pm on Tuesday and started its investigation into alleged criminal negligence leading to the accident on Friday, officers said. The agency was roped in by the Ministry of Railways, which suspected tampering with the electronic interlocking system, which detects the presence of trains.

The agency, which has little expertise in dealing with the functioning of railways, may need the help of rail security and forensic experts to get to the bottom of the case, the officers said. The CBI took over the FIR registered by the GRP Cuttack on June 3. It stated that around 40 bodies recovered from Coromandel Express had no visible injury marks. These passengers are believed to have died of electrocution after coming in contact with overhead low tension line, the FIR added.

Bring back separate Rly budget: Cong

Senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily on Tuesday said the clubbing of the railway budget with the Union budget in 2017 was a “major blunder” of the NDA government and called for bringing back the practice of having separate budgets. Taking a swipe at the government, Moily said they are talking of bullet trains when the basics have not been rectified nor sufficient modernisation and technology has been put in place. He also demanded that Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw tender his resignation on moral grounds.

No of months for which they can preserve the bodies

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