Fri, 29 Sep 2023

Kharagpur (West Bengal) [India], June 8 (ANI): Days after the tragic three-train accident in Odisha's Balasore, families of victims are desperately searching for their loved ones.

A victim's father said he feared his son was among the dead in the tripe train accident and is travelling to Balaore to provide their DNA samples to help identify his body.

"The colour of the shirt, which Dipankar was wearing on the day if the accident, is the only hope of identifying if the unidentified body number 156 is Dipankar's," Ranjit Mandal, his father, told ANI.

Dipankar was a class 11 pass-out, who lived in Sandeskhal, West Bengal.

"He boarded the Coromandel Express on June 2, with his friend without informing anyone. His friend is also missing. After the departure of the train, he informed us that he was going to Chennai for work," said Ranjit Mandal.

Earlier in the day, the families gathered at Bhubaneswar AIIMS to provide their DNA samples in order to claim the bodies currently being held at AIIMS and five other centres.

Speaking to ANI, a victim's father said that the hospital refused to them take custody of his son's body as the DNA report was still pending.

"My son died in the accident. There were three more people with him. Two have been found and one is in the hospital. I found my son here but they refused to hand over his body. I identified my son by a thread tied to his hand. They will hand over the body only after the DNA report is out. I have no money to eat but won't go back till I can have my son's mortal remains," he said.

Many like him returned home after submitting their DNA samples as there were no arrangements for them to stay back, while some have lost hope of getting the bodies of their relatives and are planning to go home.

"They are saying that they have not found my brother's body yet. Now, I am thinking of returning home. I have tried as much as I could have but it's been three days. I have submitted my DNA and have been asked to go back," the brother of a victim said.

A total of 30 DNA samples have been collected yet. Meanwhile, the government has decided to send all DNA samples to Delhi, AIIMS. The bodies are lying unclaimed in cold rooms as there are 7-8 days of waiting time for the DNA reports to be shared.

Out of the 193 bodies which were sent to Bhubaneswar, 110 have been identified and 83 are still to be identified, the Odisha Chief Secretary said earlier.

Earlier, on Monday, officials said there are 101 bodies yet to be identified. Speaking to ANI, the divisional railway manager of the Eastern Central Railways, Rinkesh Roy, said around 200 people are still being treated in various hospitals in Odisha.

Over 1000 persons were injured after the accident involving the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express the Howrah-Chennai Coromandel Express and a goods train near Bahanagar Bazar station in Odisha's Balasore district on June 2.

The Railways said preliminary investigation suggests that the accident may have been the fallout of 'signalling interference'. (ANI)

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