Odisha Train Accident: Govt Demolishes School Used as Morgue
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Akshaya Kumar Sahoo
BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha government on Friday began demolition of Bahanaga High School buildings where hundreds of bodies of the June 2 train crash victims were kept before being shifted to different morgues.
New buildings with ‘cutting-age design and technology’ with modern gadgets will be built in place of the demolished ones.
On Thursday, the Balasore district administration had forwarded a building demolition resolution adopted by the Bahanaga High School Management Committee (SME) to the higher authorities for final approval.
"The Balasore district administration had on Thursday intimated the SME’s resolution to the higher authorities. We are happy that the higher authorities have given their approval and the work for demolition of buildings has begun," said school headmistress Pramila Swain.
Balasore district collector Dattatraya Bhausaheb Shinde had on Thursday visited the School.
The SME had decided to go for demolition of the building as the students felt scared enter the school premises to resume their studies after the current summer vacation.
Limbless and headless bodies of more than 250 passengers, who perished in one of the worst train accidents of India, were kept on the school premises.
The rescue teams and local people, including the senior students of Bahananga High School, pulled out bodies of the train crash victims from the mangled coaches of the ill-fated Coromandel Express and used the school as the transit point.
As three classrooms proved insufficient, the administration used an open hall of the school to keep the dead arranged for their identification.
As the dawn broke, the school was thronged by hundreds of wailing families desperately searching for the bodies of their near and dear ones.
The district administration gradually shifted the bodies to other places from the school after nearly two days. However, the little students and the guardians of the school are scared and in a state of panic following the development.
Superstition has taken root and they are allegedly having a premonition that something worse is going to happen.
The school management committee has also decided that a puja will be performed for consecration of the school premises before the summer vacation ends on June 16.
"Children of this school are very scared after watching those scary scenes. A person was found alive among the piles of corpses. The little children are in a state of panic after witnessing those horrific scenes," said Rajaram Mohapatra, a member of the school management committee.
On Wednesday, the District Education Officer (DEO) Bishnu Charan Sutar had held a meeting with the school management committee and the alumni members to motivate the students and the guardians not to foster any kind of negative thoughts in their minds.
"Some senior students and National Cadet Corps (NCC) members had participated in the rescue operation. Only the little students are scared. We will perform puja and follow some rituals to help the children overcome their fear. We will tell them about the utility of social service and the bravery of local people," said the headmistress Swain.