Last Updated: June 09, 2023, 08:54 IST
The sudden and fateful train crash in Balasore killed over 280 people triggering a need for makeshift morgues to keep retrieved unidentified bodies from the accident site. One such facility was a government-run school which now needs to be demolished.
According to a TOI report, students and staff members at Bahanaga Nodal High School have refused to enter the campus when it reopens after the summer vacation on June 16 after it was converted into a temporary morgue after the Balasore crash.
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The tragedy and the placement of bodies in the school’s vicinity seem to have created superstitions about the place being haunted in the area.
While Balasore collector Dattatraya Bhausaheb Shinde appealed to all during a visit to the school not to spread fear and superstition, the staff members and parents of many students are demanding that the building be demolished and a new one is erected.
“This 65-year-old school has transformed over the years. There is a science laboratory on campus that should lead the way, not superstition. We will, however, take an informed decision on whether to demolish the school building or not,” Balasore collector Shinde was quoted as saying by TOI.
Bahanaga Nodal High School, which is located barely 500 metres away from the fateful train crash site in Balasore, served as a convenient temporary shelter for the officials overseeing rescue operations last weekend to transport and place 250-odd bodies before they were moved to hospital morgues in Balasore and Bhubaneswar.
For this purpose, six classrooms and a hall were used. Now the locals believe the place to be haunted as many dead bodies from an accident, many of them disfigured were kept there.
Meanwhile, the state government is planning to arrange expert counselling for the students and teachers to help them accept the reality of what happened and move on, TOI reported.
The administration has also clarified that the last traces of death have since been removed and the entire building was sanitised.
On June 2, the Coromandel Express crashed into a stationary goods train, derailing most of its coaches. A few of those toppled over the last few coaches of the Bengaluru-Howrah Express which was passing by at the same time killing 288 people.