This Article is From Jun 06, 2023

Odisha Train Crash: Bodies In Refrigerated Trucks As Morgues Out Of Space

83 bodies are yet to be identified and the Railways is now having to keep some of the bodies in refrigerated trucks at AIIMS in Bhubaneswar.

Refrigeration of the bodies is essential so that a DNA test can be done.


A semblance of normalcy may have been restored at the site of the horrific three-train accident in Odisha's Balasore, but the tragedy continues to extract its toll on the families of the victims, who are now trying to grapple with the idea of the bodies of their loved ones being stored in refrigerated trucks.

Most of the bodies of the victims of Friday's train crash, which killed 288 people and left over 900 injured, were taken to Bhubaneswar. 83 bodies are yet to be identified and, with no space left in mortuaries, Railway authorities have been forced to keep some of the bodies in refrigerated trucks stationed at the All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bhubaneswar.

Refrigeration of the decomposing bodies is essential as they cannot be handed over to the families until a DNA test is done for their identification. 

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena have issued appeals to people to come forward and identify the bodies of their loved ones and DNA tests are also being done to ensure that the right bodies are handed over to the right person. 

Railway authorities have also directed officials in West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Bihar to reach out to families for identification of bodies. Railway officials said preserving the bodies till the legal process is complete is proving to be a challenge. 

A senior doctor from the premier AIIMS hospital in New Delhi, had earlier told NDTV that it was "not advisable" to keep damaged bodies for too long as even embalming wouldn't help. A Shariff, the Head of Department, Anatomy, AIIMS, said a body could be preserved "for years" only if the embalming is done correctly within 12 hours.

A CBI probe team arrived at the site of the accident - involving the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, and a goods train - this morning and filed a case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code. Railway officials had earlier indicated that possible "sabotage" and tampering with the interlocking system had led to the accident.