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Odisha train crash latest: India’s Balasore crash death toll rises as unclaimed bodies ‘will be silenced’

Odisha train crash latest: India’s Balasore crash death toll rises as unclaimed bodies ‘will be silenced’

India train crash: Victims’ families speak out after fatal derailment

The death toll in the Odisha train accident has risen to 278 as three more succumbed to injuries, according to Railway Ministry data.

Eastern Central Railway official Rinkesh Roy said: “Around 1,100 people were injured in the accident, of which around 900 have been discharged after treatment. About 200 people are being treated at various hospitals in the state.”

Meanwhile, a hospital is set to begin embalming the unidentified victims, with more than 100 bodies yet to be claimed by families.

Anatomy and forensic experts were called to AIIMS Bhubaneswar to engage in the process of preserving the bodies in the hospital’s over-extended mortuary, which lacks refrigeration facilities.

It has been four days since three trains collided in India’s eastern state of Odisha in the worst train accident this century, killing at least 278 people, most of them migrant workers traveling in the train’s lower class compartment.

The accident raised questions about the safety of India’s vast railway network, which is used by more than 22 million people every day.

Officials are investigating whether the collision was caused by “deliberate interference” with electronic security systems, according to reports.

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Watch live: Recovery efforts progress after deadly train crash in India

watch of independent Live coverage of the Odisha train accident as recovery efforts continue.

Shweta Sharma6 June 2023 08:06

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The video shows CBI officials investigating the accident site

A team of CBI officials has arrived in Odisha to investigate the triple train collision as deliberate sabotage of the system is suspected.

The CBI, India’s equivalent of the FBI, will look into whether criminal charges should be brought over the deaths of at least 278 passengers, although concerns are growing in Odisha that the actual death toll may prove much higher.

Shweta Sharma6 June 2023 08:30

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The political parties demanded the resignation of the railway minister in an impartial investigation

As many as 12 opposition political parties have issued a joint call for the resignation of Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnab to pave the way for an impartial probe into the worst train accident of this century.

Political parties including Congress, CPI, RJD, AAP and others held a joint meeting and passed a resolution rejecting the CBI criminal probe and instead demanded formation of a special investigation team appointed by the Supreme Court.

Opposition leaders have accused the CBI, India’s equivalent of the FBI, of “acting at the behest of (the ruling) BJP”.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said: “Even before the railway safety commissioner submitted his report on the Balasore train disaster, a CBI inquiry has been announced.”

He called it an attempt at “headline management” after failing to meet the deadline.

Shweta Sharma6 June 2023 08:00

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The death toll was revised to 278 as more people were injured

The death toll in the Odisha train accident has been revised to 278, with three more succumbing to their injuries in hospital.

Eastern Central Railway official Rinkesh Roy said on Monday that 1,100 people were injured in the June 1 accident, besides 278 deaths.

The death toll was initially revised much lower than the initial 288 as state government officials said some bodies were counted twice.

The state government figures still stood at 275 on Tuesday morning.

It comes as witnesses and political leaders question the official death toll, raising doubts about whether it is being kept artificially low due to the sheer number of seriously injured.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, also a former railway minister, said 61 people in her state alone had died and 182 were still missing.

Mr Roy said 177 of the 278 bodies have been identified and 101 unidentified bodies have been kept in six different hospitals.

Shweta Sharma6 June 2023 06:48

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Photos show the devastation after the train accident in Odisha

Family members of the deceased are looking at pictures in the emergency ward to identify the bodies at Fakir Mohan Medical College and Hospital.

(AFP via Getty Images)

Hospital staff carry the coffin of a victim who died in a car wreck from AIIMS Bhubaneswar.

(AFP via Getty Images)

Volunteers display photographs of the victims at the hospital help desk to help family members identify the bodies.

(AFP via Getty Images)

Anil Marandi cries as he searches for his three family members among the marked bodies.

(AFP via Getty Images)

A rescue worker walks past the bodies of victims in a business park used as a makeshift morgue to identify the dead recovered from the wreckage of a car.

(AFP via Getty Images)

Shweta Sharma6 June 2023 06:21

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101 bodies are yet to be identified and 200 injured are being treated, officials say

A top railway official said 101 bodies are yet to be identified and 200 of the 1,100 injured are currently in hospital.

Eastern Central Railway Divisional Railway Manager Rinkesh Roy told ANI that 900 people have been discharged from the hospital.

“Out of the 278 people killed in the accident, 101 bodies are yet to be identified,” he said.

Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation Commissioner Vijay Amrita Kulange told ANI that they have 193 bodies, of which 80 have been identified.

He said that so far 55 bodies have been handed over to the relatives.

BMC Helpline 1929 received more than 200 calls and they are still in the process of identification and handing over the bodies to the relatives.

Shweta Sharma6 June 2023 06:08

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100 bodies unclaimed in Odisha train crash sparks outrage: ‘No one is taking responsibility’

It’s been more than three days since India witnessed the deadliest train crash in the country’s history, but angry and increasingly distraught families are still running between hospitals and makeshift morgues in Odisha to find their loved ones.

Authorities on Monday launched a formal investigation and said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), India’s equivalent of the FBI, would look into whether criminal charges should be brought over three train crashes that killed at least 275 passengers amid concerns in Odisha that the actual death toll could be much higher. .

It reflects growing disbelief in the government response to Friday night’s disaster, with more than 100 bodies still unidentified and unclaimed at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) hospital in Odisha’s capital city of Bhubaneswar.

West Bengal’s Kalipad Maiti has been searching for her brother, who worked as a day labourer, since Friday. “We have visited every hospital and mortuary across the state of Odisha. He is nowhere to be found,” said Mr Maite freedom.

Read Alisha Rahman government’s ground report.

Shweta Sharma6 June 2023 05:48

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The US State Department said no US citizens were killed in the crash

In a briefing on Wednesday, a US State Department spokesperson said they were closely monitoring the Odisha train accident and that no US citizens were injured or killed in the accident.

“At this time we are not aware of any US citizens being injured or killed in the train accident in Odisha, India,” said Vedant Patel.

“We are monitoring the situation closely and are in touch with the local authorities. We encourage US citizens in India to continue to monitor local news, follow emergency instructions issued by local authorities, and of course receive any additional updates on our Smart Traveler Program.”

It comes after Joe Biden joined other world leaders in mourning the tragic train crash.

“(First Lady Dr) Jill (Biden) and I are shocked by the tragic news of the fatal train accident in India. Our prayers go out to those who lost loved ones and those who were injured in this terrible incident,” he said in a statement.

“The United States and India share deep bonds of family and culture that unite our two countries — and people across America mourn alongside the people of India. As recovery efforts continue, we will keep the people of India in our thoughts”.

Shweta Sharma6 June 2023 05:46

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Railway officials have suggested ‘deliberate interference’ in the system behind the Odisha accident

Top railway officials suspect deliberate tampering with the electronic signaling system which is otherwise considered “fail-proof”, said a report citing anonymous sources.

It comes as the probe into the devastating train crash is handed over to India’s Central Bureau of Investigation, which will look into whether the derailment was caused by criminal negligence or sabotage.

Sources told The Times of India that a preliminary investigation suggested “manual tinkering” with the interlocking system at Bahanaga Bazar station that oversees the extended signalling.

The electronic interlocking system prevents multiple trains from using or moving towards the same track and is considered “fail-proof”, meaning that if the system fails, all signals on the track will turn red and all trains will stop moving. affected line.

“So, unless there is a deliberate interference in the system, it is not possible for the train to switch the route scheduled for the main line to the loop line,” the official said.

Shweta Sharma6 June 2023 05:37

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Hospitals in Odisha have called in embalming experts to preserve the bodies for longer

The AIIMS hospital in Odisha’s capital Bhubaneswar has begun the process of embalming bodies from Friday’s train crash, as identification of victims is expected to take longer in some cases where multiple families are claiming one body.

More than 12 anatomists and forensic experts have been called from nearby states to begin the process of long-term preservation of the bodies, The Indian Express reported.

Although the embalming process is usually done as soon as possible after death, the decision was made to preserve the unclaimed bodies from Friday’s accident until they are handed over to their next of kin, said Prabhas Ranjan Tripathi, a faculty member in anatomy. Department of AIIMS Bhubaneswar told the newspaper.

He said the bodies were first kept at a local school before being shifted to the hospital morgue as no hospital near the accident site was equipped to handle such a large number of casualties.

Hospital officials said some bodies remain unidentifiable due to accidents and decomposition and there have been cases where multiple families have claimed multiple bodies.

Officials are using facial recognition technology to match the bodies with telecom database data to identify the bodies.

Shweta Sharma6 June 2023 05:02

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