#TrainCrash: School Building Where Bodies Were Kept Demolished

Authorities commenced the demolition of a school building in Odisha’s Balasore, where the bodies of those who lost their lives in a train crash last week were temporarily stored. The decision to demolish the building was made due to the reluctance of students to return to the institute, as it had been serving as a makeshift morgue.

The train crash, involving three trains including the Chennai-bound Coromandel Express, resulted in the tragic deaths of 288 people, with the incident occurring approximately 100 meters away from the Bahanaga High School.

Rajaram Mohapatra, a member of the school managing committee, mentioned that the rooms where the bodies were kept had been sanitized. However, despite these measures, students and their parents remained apprehensive. Mohapatra stated that once the new building is constructed, a religious ceremony will be conducted to sanctify the space, ensuring that the children feel safe upon the school’s reopening.

Balasore district collector Dattatraya Bhausaheb Shinde visited the school on Thursday and informed the committee that the building could be demolished upon submission of a resolution. Accordingly, the committee submitted the resolution, leading to the commencement of the demolition. Schools in Odisha are scheduled to reopen on June 19 following the summer break.

In addition to the physical changes, efforts will be made to provide counseling to both students and teachers who were affected by the incident. Aswathy S, the secretary of the Odisha school and mass education department, emphasized the importance of counseling, particularly for teachers who were involved in the process of handling the bodies. The well-being of both students and staff is a priority during this challenging time.

The demolition of the school building marks a significant step in the recovery process following the devastating train crash. It is hoped that the reconstruction of the school and the support provided to the students and teachers will help them overcome the trauma and resume their educational journey.