Of the 162 bodies that were brought to AIIMS Bhubaneswar following the Odisha train accident, 82 are still lying in the mortuary. There are no claimants for many of the bodies, and in some cases, there are multiple claimants.
This has led to confusion and delays in identifying and releasing them to their families.
DNA samples have been taken from 57 family members of the victims of the train accident. These samples are being matched with the bodies that have been claimed. However, there are still more than 30 corpses that have no claimants.
“We are also coordinating with other state government officials to verify the claimants and speed up the identification process. A control room has been set up to assist relatives of the victims. Food and lodging facilities are also being provided to people coming to receive bodies,” Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner Vijay Amruta Kulange said as quoted by news agency PTI.
The horrific crash on June 2 killed 288 people and injured over 1,000. Four days after the tragic accident, families of victims are still struggling to claim the bodies. At least three families in Bhubaneswar told NDTV on Tuesday that the bodies of their loved ones had been released to someone else.
Meera Devi, 30, from Nepal, was heartbroken to learn that the body of her son had been released to someone else. She had been waiting at AIIMS in Bhubaneswar for days to claim his body, after he was killed in the crash.
“They told me someone else has taken the body,” she said.
Similarly, Zakaria Laskar from West Bengal claimed that he was told by AIIMS Bhubaneswar that the body of his uncle has been claimed by a woman from Malda.
“They are saying a woman from Malda has taken away the body. I don’t know the woman’s name. They are just telling me a woman has taken the body,” he said.
AIIMS Bhubaneswar is conducting DNA tests on the bodies of the victims of the train accident to ensure that they are released to the correct families. However, hospital authorities have not confirmed the allegations levelled by some claimants.