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India train crash: Death Toll Raised To 309 After Odisha incident

Listen - you insensitive scum - innocent HUMAN life has been lost. I don’t see any difference to dead - be it indians Pakistani or Chinese - stop for once trolling or having a go for no reason.
On topic - I wish politicians would concentrate on those that are injured or lost loved ones and offering them perhaps immediate financial assistance - rather than photo shots of themselves at the scene or jumping the gun in the blame game.

I stated a fact. In less than short six minutes, more Indians were born than had been lost in the accident. There is nothing objectionable to a mere fact.
No wonder the accident is being blamed on signal failure. Just look at how backward the dispatch center is! Everything is so outdated.

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Now look at a Chinese dispatch centers and admire their state-of-the-art equipment!

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India Railway.



India Railway.




What good did this French-built system do for the dead?

The deadly train collision in India, explained

Decades of neglect cause disaster after disaster on India’s railways.​

Ellen IoanesJun 3, 2023, 4:28pm EDT
Two train carriages crushed together, one on top of the other, surrounded by debris. A ladder is propped up against the side of the train. Rescue workers in orange jumpsuits and yellow helmets stand on top of the train car.
Rescue workers recover victims from the wreckage of a three-train collision near Balasore, India, on June 3, 2023. Punit Paranjpe/AFP via Getty Imagesnone
A railway accident in the Indian state of Odisha has killed at least 280 people and injured more than 800 on Friday — the latest such tragedy to occur in a nation where trains are widely used but often lack up-to-date infrastructure.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi traveled to Odisha Saturday and offered consolation for the victims and their families via Twitter on Friday, saying, “Distressed by the train accident in Odisha. In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon.” Upon his arrival at the accident site, Modi promised that the government would leave “no stone unturned for the treatment of those injured” and vowed that those responsible would be “punished stringently.”

Early reports indicate that a passenger train headed to Chennai from Kolkata collided with a stopped commercial train in Balasore district; another passenger train, the Howrah Superfast Express, then hit the wreckage, though the exact sequence of events has been disputed, the BBC reports. The incident is still being investigated, and rescue operations have ceased as of Saturday, with those seriously injured taken to the state’s largest hospital in Cuttack, a three-hour drive away. People searching for missing or injured relatives have reported confusion and a lack of information about their status and whereabouts, highlighting some of the country’s many infrastructure challenges.

India’s railway system was constructed in the 19th century, when the country was a British colony, and serves millions of people each day. Though it’s an important part of the country’s transit system, it’s long suffered from underinvestment, and deadly, destructive accidents are not uncommon. Friday’s accident has been referred to as the worst in the 21st century thus far.

Modi’s government has recently announced major spending on the transit and railway systems, including high-speed, indigenously produced trains between major transit corridors. But many such upgrades are years away, require mountains of outside investment, and must wind through a labyrinthine government bureaucracy to take effect.

India’s train system is one of the deadliest in the world

India’s railway system is in some ways a marvel, in that it connects a massive country together, is an affordable mode of transportation that serves 13 million people each day according to state-run Indian Railways, and connects India’s large rural population to its urban areas.

The railway system also spurred economic growth after it was first introduced in 1853, because it could move commodities both internally and internationally far more quickly than traditional transportation. The economystill depends on rail transportation, to an extent, though increased roadways and a large auto industry have increased Indians’ auto-ownership from 115 million in 2009 to 295.8 million in 2019, according to a report from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway Transport.

Still, people all over the country depend on old, overcrowded trains for all aspects of life, despite the massive number of accidents and deaths that occur on India’s more than 40,000 miles of railway.

In October 2018, a commuter train slammed through a crowd gathering to celebrate the Hindu festival of Dussehra in Amritsar, leaving at least 59 dead and injuring at least 57. Some blamed the festival goers for gathering on the tracks; others, the guest of honor for his late arrival and the railways for not stopping the train. Train derailments caused serious incidents in 2005, 2011, 2016, and 2017, according to Reuters, and India’s deadliest train accident occurred in 1981, when a cyclone blew seven overcrowded coaches on a passenger train into a river in the northeastern state of Bihar.

According to India’s National Crime Records Bureau, there were around 100,000 railway-related deaths in the country between 2017 and 2021. About 69 percent of India’s 2,017 train accidents during that time period were due to derailments caused by old signaling equipment, poorly-maintained infrastructure, track defects, and human error, according to a 2021 report from India’s Comptroller and Auditor General. A lack of funding or refusal to use funding to fix railroad tracks also contributed to those accidents.

Indian Railways, the government-owned railway enterprise, has long given subsidies to help keep fare prices low; according to Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, the government subsidy amounted to about 53 percent for each person traveling in the fiscal year 2019-2020. An announcement that the government would raise the price of tickets by 14.2 percent in 2014 spurred protests across the country, with people occupying rail stations and demonstrating in the streets to try to block the move.

Railways, which under Modi are improving, are still a popular transit option, and the government’s upgrades aim to make it even more so in order to counterweight India’s burgeoning reliance on automobile transportation. But while India’s economy is growing, that doesn’t necessarily translate to the average person, who still needs a low-cost, safe option to get where they want to go.

What will the government do to improve the train system?

Instead of visiting Odisha, Modi was supposed to be at the unveiling of a new Vande Bharat Express line from Goa to Mumbai, part of his announced investments in the transportation sector. The service initially launched in 2019, and Modi’s government plans to inaugurate 500 new such lines in the next three years, the Economist reports.

The high-speed railway system is just part of Modi’s transportation boom; his government is also building 10,000 kilometers of highway each year and has nearly doubled the length of the country’s rural road network since he was elected in 2014. Those efforts, along with increased domestic energy generation and improved broadband activity, all aim to boost India’s economic growth and turn it into a $5 trillion economy by 2026.

Though the extent to which the railway system was responsible for India’s economic growth in the 19th and early 20th centuries is debatable according to some scholars, Modi’s plans to shore up the aging system follow the generally accepted logic that improved transport will dramatically change the economy.

While infrastructure upgrades are clearly necessary, Friday’s deadly collision shows how much there is left to be done — and how critical the focus on passenger safety must be.

“India has achieved some success in making train journeys safer over the years, but a lot more needs to be done,” Swapnil Garg, a former officer of the Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers, told the Associated Press. “The entire system needs a realignment and distributed development. We can’t just focus on modern trains and have tracks that aren’t safe.”

In the meantime, the government is offering cash payouts for victims of the crash and their loved ones. On Friday, Vaishnaw tweeted that victims were entitled to 1 million Indian rupees for a dead relative, Rs 200,000 in case of “grievous” injury, and Rs 50,000 for minor ones — about $12,000, $2,400, and $600 respectively.

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India train crash: More than 230 dead after Odisha incident

16 minutes ago

Footage showed rescuers trying to free victims from the wreckage

At least 233 people are now known to have been killed and 900 injured in a multiple train collision in India's eastern Odisha state, officials say.

More than 200 ambulances were sent to the scene in Balasore district, says Odisha's chief secretary Pradeep Jena.
One passenger train is thought to have derailed before being struck by another on the adjacent track late on Friday.
It is India's worst train crash this century. Officials say the death toll is expected to rise further.

Indian Railways said the two services involved were the Coromandel Express and the Howrah Superfast Express.
Sudhanshu Sarangi, the director general of the fire department in Odisha, said that 207 bodies had been recovered so far.
Mr Jena said earlier that more than 100 additional doctors had been mobilised.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was distressed by the incident and his thoughts were with the bereaved families.
"Rescue ops are under way at the site of the mishap and all possible assistance is being given to those affected," he tweeted.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah labelled the incident "deeply agonising".

One male survivor said that "10 to 15 people fell on me when the accident happened and everything went haywire. I was at the bottom of the pile.

"I got hurt in my hand and also the back of my neck. When I came out of the train bogie, I saw someone had lost their hand, someone had lost their leg, while someone's face was distorted," the survivor told India's ANI news agency.
It is believed that several carriages from the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed at about 19:00 local time (13:30 GMT), with some of them ending up on the opposite track.

Another train - the Howrah Superfast Express travelling from Yesvantpur to Howrah - is then thought to have hit the overturned carriages.

Indian officials said that a goods train - which was stationary at the site - was also involved in the incident. They provided no further details.

Some surviving passengers were seen rushing in to help rescue those trapped in the wreckage. Local bus companies were also helping to transport wounded passengers.

India has one of the largest train networks in the world and accidents are common, despite successive governments investing hundreds of millions of dollars to improve the infrastructure, says BBC South Asia regional editor Anbarasan Ethirajan.

India's worst train disaster was in 1981, when an overcrowded passenger train was blown off the tracks and into a river during a cyclone in Bihar state, killing at least 800 people.


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Very sad news. RIP 🙏 the dead. Train accidents in the subcontinent are always deadly.

Despite US Finding Proof of Bribery in Indian Railways, Modi Government Has Taken No Action

Despite US Finding Proof of Bribery in Indian Railways, Modi Government Has Taken No Action

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and railways minister Ashwini Vaishnaw flagging off a train. Photo: PTI
New Delhi: More than a week after the US Securities and Exchange Commission accused Oracle Corp. of paying $400,000 in bribes to unidentified officials working for a public sector company owned by the Indian rail ministry, neither the Narendra Modi government nor its normally hyper-active investigative agencies are willing to say publicly what they intend to do about the matter.

The money was paid between 2016 and 2019. Though the SEC, which uncovered the bribery, fined Oracle millions of dollars for their crime, the offence by both the bribe giver and recipient is not compoundable in Indian law. Yet, the railway ministry spokesperson, when asked by The Wire if the CBI is going to be sounded out for a probe, simply said they had no comments to offer. Senior Rail Bhavan officials also refused to speak about the subject and the Enforcement Directorate chose not to respond to queries.

Since the allegations pertain to the period when commerce minister Piyush Goel held the railways portfolio, The Wire also reached out to his office, only to be directed to the railways’ spokesperson.

Reprise of Louis Berger scandal?

The apparent unwillingness to investigate a case where bribery has been proved mirrors the reluctance – on display over the past several years – to probe top politicians in Goa and Assam for the role they are alleged to have played in the Louis Berger bribery scandal.

In 2015, the US construction and consultancy firm, Louis Berger International, admitted paying nearly a million dollars as bribes – including an unspecified sum to an unidentified minister – in connection with a public sector water project in Goa in August 2010. Bribes were also paid to people in the Assam government. Both states were ruled by the Congress at the time. While the Goa minister was never identified, the water ministry during the period in question was run by Filipe Rodrigues, who is now in the Bharatiya Janata Party. Himanta Biswa Sarma, who ran the Gauhati Development Department in the Congress-run Assam government when it appointed Louis Berger International as consultants, is now the BJP’s chief minister in the state.

‘Slush fund’ to bribe rail officials

Oracle Corporation, the software giant registered in Texas, US, admitted to having created a “slush fund” which was used in 2019 to bribe officials of a “transportation company, a majority of which was owned by the Indian Ministry of Railways”. Following an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission – the US equivalent of SEBI, India’s stock market watchdog – the company agreed to pay a penalty of $23 million for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in countries such as the UAE, India and Turkey. The SEC did not identify the ‘transportation company’ whose officials were bribed.

According to the SEC, Oracle used its India arm, Oracle India Private Limited registered in New Delhi, to devise a clever method of bribing officials. An approval was taken from the parent company for giving a 70% discount on the product to the transportation company while the latter was billed in full. The difference was the slush fund thus created and used to bribe officials.

The SEC order says, “In January 2019, the sales employees working on the deal, citing intense competition from other original equipment manufacturers, claimed the deal would be lost without a 70% discount on the software component of the deal.”

The SEC concluded this rationale was dishonest since the company concerned committed to purchasing Oracle products in its tender documents. “In fact, the Indian state owned enterprise’s publicly available procurement website indicated that Oracle India faced no competition because it had mandated the use of Oracle products for the project. One of the sales employees involved in the transaction maintained a spreadsheet that indicated $67,000 was the “buffer” available to potentially make payments to a specific Indian SOE official. A total of approximately $330,000 was funneled to an entity with a reputation for paying SOE officials and another $62,000 was paid to an entity controlled by the sales employees responsible for the transaction”.

The Wire searched the tender documents of various railway PSUs and found several floated by the Container Corporation or Concor, in which Oracle was a requirement.

Oracle a repeat offender, India has yet to take action

The Wire approached the SEC for more details but a commission spokesperson said, “The SEC does not comment beyond public filings.” But Indian diplomats say the SEC would be bound to cooperate with Indian law enforcement if a criminal investigation is pursued here.

Oracle spokesperson Michael Egbert, told The Wire, “The conduct outlined by the SEC is contrary to our core values and clear policies, and if we identify such behavior, we will take appropriate action.”

The SEC order further says, “Due to the size of the discount, Oracle required an employee based in France to approve the request. The Oracle designee provided approval for the discount without requiring the sales employee to provide further documentary support for the request.”

Oracle is a repeat offender and has got away using the penalty provision in the FCPA. Oracle’s Indian arm was penalised in 2012 as well. SEC says, “Oracle resolved charges relating to the creation of millions of dollars of side funds by Oracle India, which created the risk that those funds could be used for illicit purposes. On August 16, 2012, Oracle agreed to pay a $2 million penalty to settle the SEC’s allegations that Oracle violated the books and records and internal accounting controls provisions of the FCPA by failing to prevent Oracle India Private Limited (“Oracle India”) from keeping unauthorized side funds at distributors from 2005 to 2007. “The creation of off-book slush funds inherently gives rise to the risk those funds will be used improperly, which is exactly what happened here at Oracle’s Turkey, UAE, and India subsidiaries,” said Charles Cain, the SEC’s FCPA Unit Chief. “This matter highlights the critical need for effective internal accounting controls throughout the entirety of a company’s operations.”

In 2012, “According to the SEC’s complaint filed in U.S. District Court of California, the misconduct at Oracle’s India subsidiary – Oracle India Private Limited – occurred from 2005 to 2007. Oracle India sold software licenses and services to India’s government through local distributors, and then had the distributors “park” excess funds from the sales outside Oracle India’s books and records.

For example, according to the SEC’s complaint, Oracle India secured a $3.9 million deal with India’s Ministry of Information Technology and Communications in May 2006. As instructed by Oracle India’s then-sales director, only $2.1 million was sent to Oracle to record as revenue on the transaction, and the distributor kept $151,000 for services rendered. Certain other Oracle India employees further instructed the distributor to park the remaining $1.7 million for “marketing development purposes.” Two months later, one of those same Oracle India employees created and provided to the distributor eight invoices for payments to purported third-party vendors ranging from $110,000 to $396,000. In fact, none of these storefront-only third parties provided any services or were included on Oracle’s approved vendor list. The third-party payments created the risk that the funds could be used for illicit purposes such as bribery or embezzlement.

“Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Oracle agreed to cease and desist from committing violations of the anti-bribery, books and records, and internal accounting controls provisions of the FCPA and to pay approximately $8 million in disgorgement and a $15 million penalty.”

Oracle Corporation while filing its annual financial statement for 2019 said, “We are under audit by the IRS and various other domestic and foreign tax authorities with regards to income tax and indirect tax matters and are involved in various challenges and litigation in a number of countries, including, in particular, Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico, Pakistan and Spain, where the amounts under controversy are significant.”

According to the regulator, Oracle’s Turkey and UAE units also used slush funds to pay for foreign officials to attend technology conferences in violation of Oracle policies.

Employees of the Turkey unit also used the funds to pay for the officials’ spouses and children to accompany them, or take side trips to Los Angeles and Napa Valley, California, the SEC said.

Despair and anguish stalks hospitals as India reels from devastating train crash

Rescue workers gather around damaged carriages during search for survivors at the accident site of a three-train collision near Balasore, about 200 km (125 miles) from the state capital Bhubaneswar in the eastern state of Odisha, on June 3, 2023. At least 288 people were killed and more than 850 injured in a horrific three-train collision in India, officials said on June 3, the country's deadliest rail accident in more than 20 years. (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR / AFP) (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Editor’s Note: This story contains graphic descriptions of injuries.

Balasore, Odisha CNN — none
Manto Kumar was traveling on the Coromandel Express with six of his friends when his train compartment began to violently shake like an earthquake.

“Suddenly something crashed into us. Some of the coaches rolled to the other side,” the 32-year-old restaurant worker told CNN from a hospital in India’seastern Odisha state.

“I got up and wrapped my shirt around my bleeding head. Then, I started looking for my friends. Everyone was shouting ‘save us… save us.’”

One of Kumar’s friends lost both his legs in the crash and was rushed to hospital. He did not survive his injuries.

Their story is just one of hundreds unfolding across the country as India deals with one of the worst train crashes it has ever seen.

At least 275 people were killed and more than 1,000 others injured after the Coromandel Express slammed into a parked freight train, scattering upturned passenger cars that were then struck by a Howrah Express train traveling at high speed in the opposite direction.

Three days later, families are still trying to locate their loved ones, piles of dead bodies are waiting to be identified and hospitals are laboring to treat an overwhelming number of injured passengers.

Family members look at photographs on a computer to identify bodies at a temporary mortuary following a train collision near Balasore, in India's eastern state of Odisha, on June 4, 2023.

Morgues in the city of Balasore had earlier reached full capacity, prompting officials to place some of the bodies in school corridors and a business park for families to identify.

For families that have traveled to the city, aching to locate their loved ones, the wait has been traumatic.

“I’ve been to all the hospitals and I’ve found out nothing,” Laluti Devi, who was looking for her 22-year-old son, told CNN, adding she will now travel nearly four hours south to the state’s capital Bhubaneswar, in a desperate attempt to see if he was transported to a morgue there.

Many of the dead are unclaimed, and local authorities are struggling to deal with the sheer scale of the disaster.

On Sunday, the state government released the photographs of more than 160 victims, many in horrific condition with gruesome injuries, in a bid to help families identify the bodies.

That leaves people facing the agonizing task of scrolling though picture after picture of mangled victims on the off chance they might come across their missing loved one.

A distraught father arrived at one of the identification sites after receiving a WhatsApp photo of his dead son.

“I was looking for my son since (Saturday),” he told local outlet Mojo TV, breaking down as he pointed to the photo. His 23-year-old boy, a laborer, was traveling to the city of Chennai for his job, like many others in the coach with him.

“This is my boy. This is my boy,” the father said through tears after identifying his son’s body.

Elsewhere, two women traveled to several sites, crying with anguish as they tried to locate their missing husbands.

Doctors confer as they attend to survivors of a train accident in a hospital in Balasore, India, on June 4, 2023.

India’s Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said it was his “goal” to ensure that family members could find their missing loved ones as soon as possible.

“Our responsibility is not over yet,” he said.

At local hospitals, doctors were working around the clock to treat injured patients.

In Balasore, a 15-year-old boy was among hundreds of survivors that arrived at the Government Medical College for treatment.

“People who were alive were shouting for help, praying to god,” he said, adding the train was so full, there was barely any room to stand. “Rescue teams were doing their best to save people. A lot of people were crying,” he said.

Laxminaranyan Dhal, a 52-year-old farmer who was traveling alone, said he clung onto the railing of the train for survival.

“I escaped through the broken windows,” he said. “When I got out, I saw a lot of people lying around – many were dead, some were moaning in pain.”

His spinal chord injury has left him in excruciating pain, making it difficult for the laborer to sit or even to stand.

“I cannot farm anymore, it hurts too much. Only after treatment I can start working,” he said.

‘Unimaginable injuries’​

According to senior railway officials, the Coromandel Express, a high-speed train that was traveling from Kolkata to Chennai, was diverted onto a loop line and slammed into a heavy goods train idled at Bahanaga Bazar railway station.

Its carriages derailed onto the opposite track, where they were hit by an oncoming high-speed train, the Howrah Express, which was traveling from Bangalore.

Many of the travelers were migrant workers, en route to Chennai, an urban metropolis in the southernmost Indian state of Tamil Nadu, where jobs are more freely available.

Survivors recalled seeing crowded coaches, packed with travelers, when it began flipping and rolling from the crash.

A drone view shows derailed coaches after two passenger trains collided in Balasore district in the eastern state of Odisha, India, June 3, 2023.

Anushuman Purohi, who was in first class and seated toward the end of the train, said he saw many “unimaginable” injuries.

“When we opened the door, that’s when I actually heard the wail of humanity, crying out in pain, crying out for water and crying out for help,” he said.

“There were a lot of people lying on the tracks, they were injured, there was blood everywhere, there were broken bones, and it was time for us to stop thinking about ourselves and help the injured… It was chaos, it was something I can really not describe… I saw a head without a body, I saw skulls crushed, I saw bodies completely crushed by the metal, it was horrifying.”

People try to escape from toppled compartments, following the deadly collision of two trains, in Balasore, India June 2, 2023, in this screen grab obtained from a video.

All Sunday, workers toiled in the scorching heat to clear the wreckage, as rail cars remained rolled in a ditch and passengers’ belongings were seen strewn across the ground. Suitcases, bags, shoes and personal items lined the tracks, alongside wrought metal and charred coaches.

By late evening, the first train resumed movement at the impacted section.

Vaishnaw, the railways minister, and others waved as the train rode down the tracks.

“All the teams did a great job. But there is a lot of pain in our mind and hearts,” Vaishnaw said. “We will find out the root cause (of this incident).”

Rescuers work at the site of passenger trains that derailed in Balasore district, in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, Saturday, June 3, 2023.

Underfunded and poorly maintained​

Anger is growing in India, now the world’s most populous nation, renewing calls for authorities to confront safety issues in a railway system that transports more than 13 million passengers every day.

India’s extensive rail network is one of the largest in the world and built more than 160 years ago under British colonial rule. Today, it runs about 11,000 trains every day over 67,000 miles of tracks.

For Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who swept to power in 2014 on a promise of future greatness, upgrading the country’s transport system has been a key priority in his push to create a $5 trillion economy by 2025.

In the fiscal year that started in April, Modi’s government raised capital spending on airports, road and highway construction and other infrastructure projects to $122 billion, or 1.7% of India’s GDP. But years of neglect has left many tracks to deteriorate.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the site of a train crash on June 3.

A report last year by India’s auditor general, an independent office, found the amount spent on track maintenance is falling. “Due to financial constraints, the progress in track renewals is constantly coming down over the last six years,” the report said.

Decaying infrastructure is often cited as a cause for traffic delays and numerous train accidents in India. And though government statistics show that accidents and derailments have declined in recent years, they are still tragically common.

More than 16,000 people were killed in nearly 18,000 railway accidents across the country in 2021, according to latest figures from the National Crime Records Bureau. Nearly 70% were due to falls from trains and collisions between trains and people on the track.

In 2005, at least 102 people died when a passenger train derailed in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh as it tried to cross tracks washed away by a flood. In 2011, scores were killed when a train jumped tracks in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

In another infamous incident in 2016, more than 140 people were killed in another derailment in Uttar Pradesh.

Policemen stand guard at the site where trains that derailed, in Balasore district, in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, Sunday, June 4, 2023.

Railways Minister Vaishnaw said authorities have asked the Central Bureau of Investigation, India’s top investigation agency, to probe Friday’s crash.

Authorities have announced compensation of about $1,200 to families who have lost loved ones.

But as teams continue to investigate the cause, no amount of money could make up for the devastating loss of life.

As Kumar, whose friend died in the crash, recalled the horror of Friday’s accident, he reflected on how lucky he was to survive.

“I am blessed to have another chance at life,” he said.

CNN’s Manveena Suri, Dhruv Tikekar and Sania Farooqui contributed reporting.

As India grieves train crash that killed 275, relatives try to identify bodies of loved ones

BHUBANESWAR, India (AP) — Families of the victims of India’s deadliest train crash in decades filled a hospital in Bhubaneswar city on Monday to try to identify the bodies of relatives, as railway officials recommended a criminal probe of the crash that killed 275 people.

Distraught relatives of passengers killed in the crash Friday lined up outside the eastern city’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences. Meanwhile, survivors being treated in hospitals said they are still trying to make sense of the horrific disaster.

Outside the hospital, two large screens cycled through photos of the bodies, the faces so bloodied and charred that they were hardly recognizable.

Each body had a number assigned to it, and relatives stood near the screen and watched as the photos changed, looking for details like clothing for clues.

Many of the people said they spent days on desperate journeys from neighboring states, traveling on multiple trains, buses or rented cars to identify and claim bodies, a process that stretched into a third day.

So far only 45 bodies have been identified, and 33 have been handed over to relatives, said Mayur Sooryavanshi, an administrator who was overseeing the identification process at the hospital in the capital of Odisha state, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of the site of the train crash in Balasore.

“It’s the first time I have dealt with something like this,” said Dr. Utkal Keshari Suna, a senior resident at the Bhubaneshwar hospital. “It’s been a very difficult experience. I am in forensics, so I am used to dealing with dead bodies, but nothing like this,” he said, standing inside the mortuary, where the air was thick with the smell of the dead.

“It’s horrific. Time has also passed, so many bodies have started decomposing, so it’s becoming more and more difficult to identify them,” he said.

Upendra Ram began searching for his son, Retul Ram, on Sunday after traveling about 850 kilometers (520 miles) from neighboring Bihar state. The day-long journey in a rented car, which cost him 35,000 rupees ($423), was exhausting for Ram. Retul, 17, had been on his way to Chennai to find work, Ram said.

After spending hours looking at photographs of the dead, Ram identified his son around noon Monday.

“I just want to take the dead body and go back home. He was a very good son,” said Ram, adding that Retul had dropped out of school to earn money for the family.

“My wife and daughter can’t stop crying at home. They are asking me to bring the body back quickly,” he said, wiping tears from his eyes with a red scarf he had tied around his head.

Friday’s crash was one of the worst rail disasters in India’s history. Investigators said a signaling failure might have been the cause of the disaster, in which a passenger train hit a freight train, derailing on the tracks before being hit by another passenger train coming in the opposite direction on a parallel track.

The collision involved two passenger trains, the Coromandel Express traveling from Howrah in West Bengal state to Chennai in Tamil Nadu state, and the Yesvantpur-Howrah Superfast Express traveling from Bengaluru in Karnataka to Howrah, officials said.

At least 123 trains scheduled to pass through Odisha were either canceled or delayed after the accident. The disruption led air fares to Odisha to spike, prompting India’s civil aviation ministry to warn airlines over pricing surges.

Usman Ansari, who came from Bihar to collect the body of his brother-in-law, Kasim Mia, said he spent 24 hours on the road along with two friends. After reaching the site of the crash, they were told the bodies had been moved to Bhubaneswar.

They rented a car to drive to the hospital, where Ansari was finally able to identify and collect his brother-in-law’s body.

“Kasim used to say he wanted to do everything for his children,” he said, adding that compensation promised by the federal government would help take care of the man’s four young children.

Authorities recommended on Sunday that India’s Central Bureau of Investigations, which probes major criminal cases, open an investigation into the crash.

Some train traffic was restored Sunday evening on the tracks where the crash happened, after two days of repair work in which hundreds of workers with excavators removed the mangled debris of the trains.

The crash occurred as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is focusing on the modernization of India’s colonial-era railroad network.

The South Asian nation has one of the world’s most extensive and complicated railway systems with more than 40,000 miles (64,000 kilometers) of track, 14,000 passenger trains and 8,000 stations.

Spread across the country from the Himalayas in the north to tropical ports in the south, it has been weakened by decades of mismanagement and neglect. Despite efforts to improve safety, several hundred accidents happen every year.

Most train accidents are blamed on human error or outdated signaling equipment.

In August 1995, two trains collided near New Delhi, killing 358 people in one of India’s worst-ever train accidents.

In 2016, a passenger train slid off the tracks between the cities of Indore and Patna, killing 146 people.

More than 22 million people ride trains across India every day.


Saaliq reported from New Delhi.

This hoenstly feels like the type of things i used to do as a kid XD
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@Joe Shearer do you want to bring these lying thugs to power by disqualifying Modi?
ANYTHING to get rid of Modi is fine.

At least then 17% of our citizens can breathe freely, another 20% stop feeling humiliated.

Who wouldn't do anything to relieve 1/3 of our population from daily pain and misery?

This hoenstly feels like the type of things i used to do as a kid XD
Please don't believe the cheap lies being put out by these people.

This hoenstly feels like the type of things i used to do as a kid XD
Please don't believe the cheap lies being put out by these people.

Yes, but...

Because of that ignorant, narcissistic monster's insistence on pushing photo opportunities on the railways, money and management attention got taken away from urgent, pending finalisation of technical safety solutions, and matters left as they were.

Chhappanincheswar is responsible for this. Not directly, sure, but indirectly.
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Yes, but...

Because of that ignorant, narcissistic monster's insistence on pushing photo opportunities on the railways, money and management attention got taken away from urgent, pending finalisation of technical safety solutions, and matters left as they were.

Chhappanincheswar is responsible for this. Not directly, sure, but indirectly.
ANYTHING to get rid of Modi is fine.

At least then 17% of our citizens can breathe freely, another 20% stop feeling humiliated.

Who wouldn't do anything to relieve 1/3 of our population from daily pain and misery?
Do your 17% who would feel relieved include them?

Yes, but...

Because of that ignorant, narcissistic monster's insistence on pushing photo opportunities on the railways, money and management attention got taken away from urgent, pending finalisation of technical safety solutions, and matters left as they were.

Chhappanincheswar is responsible for this. Not directly, sure, but indirectly.
You still didn't ask for Resignation of Nitish Kumar for what happened in Bihar.
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