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Odisha train accident: More than 100 bodies remain unclaimed

Four days after a deadly three-train crash killed 275 people in India, a large number of bodies remain unclaimed.

Officials in the state of Odisha, where the crash took place, said on Monday that 105 bodies were unidentified.

More than 1,000 injured have been admitted to hospitals and families say they are still looking for loved ones.

The deadly collision on Friday evening is India’s worst rail accident this century.

The crash saw a passenger train derail after wrongly entering into a loop track by the side of the main line and colliding with a stationary goods train that was parked there. Its derailed carriages then struck the rear coaches of a second passenger train going in the opposite direction.

More than 3,000 passengers are thought to have been travelling on the two trains, with reports saying both were packed.

Desperate family members of passengers from Odisha and other states have been crowding hospitals, seeking information about their loved ones.

At the government-run AIIMS hospital in the state capital, Bhubaneswar, where the maximum number of bodies – 123 – were taken, hundreds of people crowded around a help desk that has been set up to deal with queries about the injured and the dead.

Pictures of the victims have been uploaded on government websites and large computer screen displays have been installed to help families identify their loved ones.Odisha’s top state official Pradeep Jena has described the task of identifying bodies as “a real challenge”.

On Monday morning, Bhubaneshwar Municipal Corporation Commissioner Vijay Amruta Kulange told the BBC that many of the bodies that were brought to AIIMS remained unclaimed and the hospital mortuary was still crowded.

“If you go through the photo database, you’ll see how many of the bodies are damaged beyond recognition. They are also now decomposing,” he said.

“There have been some cases where more than one family have claimed a body so in those cases we will have to do DNA testing,” he added.

Mr Jena said bodies were being handed over “after due process” and the state government was providing free transportation to carry bodies to their destination.

Source: BBC

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