CBI team arrives at Balasore to probe train accident, questions railway officials

BAHANANGA: A 10-member team of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday morning arrived at Bahanaga in Odisha’s Balasore district to launch investigation into the catastrophic train crash that left 275 passengers killed and more than 900 others injured.

According to reports, the team inspected the main line on which the 2841 Shalimar - Chennai Coromandal Express was running and the loop line where a goods train was standing.

The investigating team also visited the station master’s office at Bahanaga Station Bazar and examined the technical and other details. They investigation officers also questioned the signal-room personnel to know how the 2841 Shalimar - Chennai Coromandel Express which was given green signal on mainline entered the loop line that led to collision with stationary goods train.

Reports from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)-Bhubaneswar said the hospital has so far handed over 64 bodies of the accident victims to their family members after proper identification and 56 more corpses were still lying in the morgue.

“Family members and relatives of the deceased persons who have arrived here to claim bodies of their loved ones are being extended all possible support. We are handing over the bodies to them after proper identification and thorough police verification,” said AIIMS superintendent Prabhas Ranjan Tripathy.

Vijay Amritraj Kulange, Commissioner of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, said the DNA testing process had been started at AIIMS-Bhubaneswar in order to solve cases of multiple claims on certain bodies.

“We are coming across cases of multiple claims on certain bodies. To avoid the ambiguity, we have started DNA testing of the family members,” said Kulange.

Overall, 95 bodies, including the 64 at AIIMS-Bhubaneswar, have been handed over to their family members. Of them, family members of 84 accident victims have received the compensation amount as announced by the ministry of railways. The total amount of ex-gratia disbursed by Tuesday morning was 6.9 crore, said East Coast Railway chief public relations officer (CPRO) Biswajit Sahoo.

The CPRO’s information on the dead bodies identified and returned to their family members mismatches with the figure given by the Odisha government.

At 9.50 pm on Monday, the state chief secretary had tweeted: “By now more than 180 bodies have been identified & 150-plus bodies handed over.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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