A 35-year-old man, presumed to be killed in the devastating train accident in Odisha’s Balasore, was found alive in a school room that was temporarily used to keep the dead bodies, a report said on Tuesday.
Robin Naiya was found unconscious in the aftermath of the triple train accident involving the Howrah-Chennai Coromandel Express, Bengaluru-Howrah Express and a goods train that took place on Friday.
During the rescue operation, he was carried and placed in a school room in Balasore, alongside the numerous lifeless bodies, according to a India Today report. He later woke up in the suffocating confines of the school room, surrounded by dozens of corpses.
As rescue workers entered the room to remove the mangled bodies piled within, one of them unexpectedly felt a hand clutching his leg. With a faint plea for water accompanied by a subdued moan, Naiya said: “I am alive, not dead. Please give me water.”
Following the incident, the rescuers swiftly transported him to a hospital for immediate medical attention.
Naiya, a resident of Charnekhali village in North 24 Parganas, West Bengal, survived the train accident but lost both of his legs. His is in critical condition and is receiving treatment in the orthopedic ward at Medinipur Medical College Hospital.
Alongside seven other individuals from the village, Naiya was onboard the Coromandel Express, embarking on a journey from Howrah to Andhra Pradesh in search of employment opportunities.
According to reports, Naiya’s six friends are still missing.
The June 2 train crash is the second such incident to take place in Naiya’s family. Robin’s uncle survived the 2010 Jnaneshwari Express derailment in West Midnapore that killed 148 people. The Jnaneshwari Express derailed and collided with a goods train that ran from the opposite direction.
According to latest figures by Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena, the death toll in the train tragedy in Balasore has reached 288. Among the 288 bodies, a total of 205 have been identified and subsequently handed over to their respective family members. However, 83 bodies are yet to be identified.
The Odisha government has said that prevailing hot weather conditions have emerged as a challenge in preserving the mortal remains of the deceased.
“It was very difficult to store such a large number of bodies with care, identify those and dispatch the bodies to their families after all due formalities,” AIIMS Executive Director Dr Ashutosh Biswas said.
AIIMS, Bhubaneswar has procured at least five deep freezer containers from Paradip Port on Monday.
On Monday, a group of 20 medical professionals and staff from esteemed Central Government hospitals in New Delhi, including AIIMS, Lady Hardinge and Ram Manohar Lohia, arrived in Balasore to help preserve the bodies.
As reported by CNN-News18, the team comprises specialists in anatomy and forensic medicine. The anatomy department’s role involves preservation by embalming, while the forensic medicine team is responsible for conducting post-mortem examinations.