Balasore tragedy: Bhubaneswar municipal corp to dispose of last 28 bodies
Four months after the Odisha triple-train tragedy, these bodies remain unclaimed and unidentified
Four months after the triple train accident that claimed 297 lives in Odisha's Balasore district, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Sunday, 9 October, initiated the process of disposing of the 28 unidentified bodies that remain.
The civic body would follow the standard operating procedure for scientifically disposing of the remains of the 28 people whose rightful claimants were not found, an official said.
“We have issued an SOP for the scientific disposal of the unclaimed bodies of those who were killed in the triple train accident. The bodies will be handed over to the corporation in the presence of CBI officials and we are planning for the cremation on Tuesday (10 October),” BMC mayor Sulochana Das told reporters.
Sources also said that the BMC initiated the process after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which has been probing the train accident, wrote to the Khurda district collector, requesting him for disposal of the bodies.
The bodies had been kept at AIIMS Bhubaneswar since the accident occurred in June.
The BMC will now make arrangements for their smooth transportation to the cremation grounds at Satyanagar and Bharatpur in the city, an official said.
The director of AIIMS Bhubaneswar must officially hand over the bodies to the BMC health officer, following the existing rules and guidelines of the state, the Centre and the National Human Rights Commission for the cremation of the bodies. The entire process will be videographed, according to the SOP issued by the BMC.
AIIMS Bhubaneswar had received 162 bodies in all, and 81 of them were handed over to family members of the deceased who arrived to identify them in the first phase.
Later, another 53 bodies were given to family members following DNA tests, but the remains of 28 others have been unclaimed, the official said.
The bodies were kept in at least five deep freezer containers procured from the Paradip Port Trust.
The Shalimar–Chennai Central Coromandel Express, the Bengaluru–Howrah Super Fast Express and a goods train were involved in the accident.
The Coromandel Express crashed into the stationary goods train, derailing most of its coaches around 7 pm on June 2 near the Bahanaga Bazar station. A few coaches of the Coromandel Express then whiplashed into the last few coaches of the Bengaluru–Howrah Express, which was passing on another line at the same time.