Lack of records hampers victims' identification

Last Updated 20 July 2010, 17:32 IST

“We have no records of the passengers of the unreserved general compartments. So it will be a problem for us to provide the exact number of passengers present in the two worst-affected compartments and also their whereabouts,” said a senior railway official.

“While identifying the victims, we need to be very cautious as both  compensation and human sentiments are attached to it,” a senior railway official said. In Monday’s accident, the impact of the collision was so severe that the roof of one of the coaches was flung to the overpass above the stationary train.

“So far nine people have been identified by the hospital authorities but they are yet to announce it as matters of compensation and human sentiments are involved,” said a health official at Suri Hospital.

On top of it, the air-conditioning at the Suri mortuary has stopped functioning as a result of which all the bodies or body parts had to be shifted to Burdwan Medical College and

“We expect once again that CFSL(Central Forensic Science Laboratory) personnel will be called in this time for conducting DNA tests for identifying the victims and the bodies will be lying in hospital for over a month,” he pointed out.

“In the Gyaneshwari case five reserved coaches were damaged. So the South Eastern Railways had detailed information regarding the whereabouts of the passengers and also the exact figure of those in the coaches,” the railway official said.

The remains of the victims of Gyaneshwari Express tragedy kept lying in the mortuaries of two state-run hospitals for over a month for identification through DNA tests.

However, after three rounds of examination, the CFSL personnel in Kolkata was able to complete DNA profiles of only 15 of the 48 unidentified victims.

The CSFL finally submitted the report before the state government identifying only 15 victims. The state government had to cremate all unidentified victims as the bodies dumped in the hospital mortuaries had begun to rot.

(Published 20 July 2010, 17:32 IST)

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