Sunday, June 23, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Gopibagh train fire: Relatives’ agonizing wait to identify bodies continues

  • CID says obtaining DNA from burnt bodies will take more time
  • Four families have laid claims to the recovered bodies 
Update : 28 Jan 2024, 09:19 AM

The identities of the four charred bodies found in the aftermath of the arson attack on the Benapole Express train in Dhaka’s Gopibagh remain unknown. 

DNA samples were collected from the recovered bodies, with the court's authorization. Additionally, families of the four missing persons submitted their DNA samples 15 days ago. 

Despite these efforts, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has said that obtaining the DNA test report for the burnt bodies will take more time.

A source within the CID revealed that the bodies were burnt in such a manner that the identification process is taking longer than expected. It is uncertain how long it will take to receive the DNA test report. 

Currently, four families have laid claims to the bodies recovered from the Gopibagh train fire, alleging that their missing loved ones are among them. 

The missing persons are identified as Abu Talha, Chandrima Chowdhury Soumi, Elina, and Natasha Jeshmi.

Relatives of the missing individuals are anxiously awaiting the DNA report, having spent the past 20 days searching hospitals, railways, CID, and DB offices for any information on their loved ones. 

With no signs of the missing persons and the bodies still unidentified, some family members fear that their children might be among the four bodies in the morgue. 

One such individual is Abdul Haque, the father of Abu Talha, who believes that his son perished in the Benapole Express train fire at Gopibagh on January 5.

Sharing his agonizing wait for answers, Abdul Haque said: "In my quest for my son, I've visited hospitals, DB offices, and railway police, but found no information. Eventually, I became convinced that my son died in the Gopibagh train fire." 

He said: "The CID advised waiting at least seven days for the DNA sample. I am in contact with them, and they have yet to make a decision. The truth about whether my son is alive or deceased will only be known after the DNA report."

Similar to Abu Talha's case, the families claiming the bodies of the other three victims are also waiting for confirmation from the CID report. 

Ahmed Ferdous, a DNA lab analyst at the CID, explained that the severely burnt bodies require more time for testing, making it impossible to provide a definite timeline for the report. 

He said that the DNA samples from both the recovered bodies and the families have been collected and sent for testing, with an estimated timeframe of three to four weeks for the results.

Dhaka Railway Police Station Sub-Inspector Sitafur Rahman, responsible for preparing the condition report of the bodies, echoed the sentiment, saying: "We are also awaiting the CID report. Once the relatives are identified through the samples, we will hand over the bodies with the CID report."

The tragic incident occurred on the night of January 5 when miscreants set fire to the Benapole Express train in Gopibagh, only two days before 12th national parliamentary election. 

Several compartments were engulfed in flames, resulting in the recovery of four bodies and numerous injuries. 

On receiving news of the fire, concerned relatives rushed to the scene from different parts of the capital. 

In response to the incident, a seven-member investigation committee was formed by the railway authority. The train's director (guard), SM Nurul Islam, filed a case as the plaintiff the following day.

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