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Even today, I still remember that night, the year of the Karamandal tragedy

Sarojini Bishi

Bhubaneswar: Even today I remember the incident of that night. When I think of it, the hairs stand up. That day was Friday June 2nd. He who had done his own work went out to his destination. Who sits on the train and returns home happily and who goes to work. But maybe there was something else in fate. Karamandal train became the cause of misfortune of thousands of people. A terrible accident happened in Balasore district. 296 people died prematurely. Many children were separated from their fathers while the mother was crying for the loss of her son. On the other hand, the wife was stunned after losing her husband. It was as if everything had turned upside down. And today it has been one year since the incident of that night. This accident is considered to be one of the worst railway accidents in India.

On June 2, 2023, two passenger trains collided head-on on the Howrah-Chennai main line near Bahanga Bazar in Balasore district of Odisha. About 288 people died on the spot while more than 1000 people were injured. Later, the number of deaths in the hospital increased to 296. However, preliminary investigations revealed that the first train derailed. Some of the coaches of that train fell on the opposite rail. There, he collided with the second train. A freight train was also involved in this accident.

3 people were arrested in the said incident. They are Senior Section Engineer Arun Mohanty, Section Engineer Muhammad Ammir Khan and Technician Pappu Kumar. It is said that such a big accident happened due to their negligence. On the other hand, 81 people who lost their lives in that fatal accident were not identified. All the dead bodies were kept in AIIMS. After a few days, the DNA of 53 people was tested. After matching the DNA test, the body was handed over to the claimants.

But 28 dead bodies were saved. No claimant came to claim the rest of the body. Finally, 28 unidentified bodies were handed over to BMC by AIIMS in the presence of CBI officers. The dead bodies were kept in the container for 4 months. On October 11, 2023, all 28 dead bodies were reformed by the government.

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