India train crash toll rises to 288 Rescue workers gather around damaged carriages at the site of a three-train collision near Balasore in the eastern Indian state of Odisha on Saturday. At least 288 people were killed and more than 900...(PHOTO:AFP)

NEW DELHI. – The death toll in the Odisha train crash yesterday rose to 288 as three more people succumbed to their injuries, according to Railway Ministry data.

Eastern Central Railways official Rinkesh Ray said: “About 1 100 people were injured in the accident, out of which about 900 people were discharged after treatment. Around 200 people are being treated in various hospitals in the state”.

Meanwhile, a hospital is to start embalming the unidentified victims, with more than 100 bodies still yet to be claimed by families.

Anatomy and forensic experts were called to AIIMS Bhubaneswar to engage in the process of preserving the bodies at the hospital’s overstretched mortuary, which does not have refrigeration facilities.

It is now four days since three trains collided in the eastern state of Odisha in of India’s worst train crash this century, killing at least 278 people, many of them migrant labourers travelling in the trains’ lower class carriages.

The accident has sparked questions over the safety of India’s vast railways network, which is used by more than 22 million people every day.

Officials are investigating whether the collision occurred due to “deliberate interference” with an electronic safety system, according to reports.

India’s deadliest train crash this century may have been caused by “deliberate interference” in an otherwise “fail-proof” electronic system, according to the country’s railway officials. –

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