Disasters & Accidents

DNA test to identify bodies from deadly India train crash

New Delhi, June 7 (EFE).- Indian authorities have begun taking DNA samples from relatives of victims of the catastrophic train accident that left 288 dead and more than 1,000 injured last week, said an official on Wednesday.

“We are making available photographs today but still there is no proper progress,” said Vijay Amruta, collector of Bhubaneswar — the capital of the eastern Odisha state where the train accident occurred on Friday.

“That is why now we started collecting DNA samples of relatives also, those who are ready to give their DNA samples.”

Most bodies were transported to Bhubaneswar after spending more than 36 hours outdoors in the town where the accident occurred.

Due to the delay in transferring the corpses, the bodies began to decompose quickly, hampering the identification of victims.

Of the 193 bodies taken to various hospitals in the regional capital, 110 were identified and handed over to their families, many of whom came from neighboring states in search of their loved ones.

Kulange told Efe that authorities were identifying 83 bodies.

“All the bodies are swelling and they are beyond recognition,” the official added.

The accident occurred on Friday in the Balasore district when a passenger train derailed and crashed into a goods train.

Another passenger train traveling in the opposite direction crashed into the derailed wagons of the two collided trains.

Although Indian authorities claim to have identified the cause and those responsible for the accident, a team from the Central Bureau of Investigation — one of the major probe agencies in the country – has begun investigating amid criticism from the opposition.

In 1999, the collision of two trains in West Bengal left 288 dead, while 800 people were killed in 1981 when a train derailed while crossing a bridge and fell into a river in the northern state of Bihar.

India’s railway network is the fourth largest after the United States, Russia, and China.

Indian railway network transports roughly 23 million passengers a day. EFE


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