India - rail: More than 100 bodies remain unclaimed

The first causes of the railway tragedy come to light

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Indian authorities appealed today to the families of more than 100 people whose bodies have not been identified and are in hospitals and morgues after India's deadliest train crash in more than two decades that killed 275 people.

The accident occurred on Friday when a passenger train rammed into a commercial train at a speed of 130 km per hour. Three carriages fell onto the adjacent track, hitting the rear of an express train running on the Bangalore-Kolkata route in Odisha state in eastern part of the country.

After non-stop efforts to rescue the survivors and to clean and repair the tracks, passenger and commercial trains started to pass through the site of the railway tragedy again on Sunday night.

As of yesterday afternoon, about 100 bodies had not been identified, a senior state health ministry official told Reuters.

Vijay Kumar Mohapatra, head of Odisha's health department, said authorities were trying to procure refrigerated containers to preserve the bodies.

"An autopsy cannot be performed unless the bodies are identified," Mohapatra said, explaining that state regulations prohibit an autopsy on an unclaimed body until 96 hours have passed.

At the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the largest hospital in Odisha state capital Bhubaneswar, giant screens are showing pictures of the dead to help desperate families searching for their loved ones in hospitals and mortuaries.

A detailed list with specific characteristics of each dead person has been drawn up, but relatives will first have to see - however grisly the sight - the photographs of the bodies to locate their missing relatives, a senior US official told Reuters. police.

The trains were carrying passengers from several states and officials from seven states (Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh) are in Balasore to help relatives identify and pick up their loved ones, the official added. of the police.

The Railway Board of India has proposed that the Federal Central Bureau of Investigation take over the investigation into the cause of the accident, while a separate inquiry, under the railway safety commissioner for the region, was launched yesterday.

The Federal Central Bureau of Investigation team will go to the scene of the tragedy today and begin their investigation.

Railway police filed charges of criminal negligence without naming any suspects.

The most likely cause of the accident was a fault in the signaling system, according to the preliminary report, which suggests that the Coromandel Express, which was traveling south towards Chennai from Kolkata, entered another railway track where a commercial train was already on and collided with at a speed of 130 kilometers per hour on the commercial train.

Three coaches fell onto the adjacent railway track, hitting the rear of an express train running the Bangalore-Calcutta route.

Source: RES-EAP