The railway disaster in Balasore, Odisha, claimed the lives of three brothers from the South 24 Parganas region of West Bengal who were en route to Tamil Nadu in quest of employment, according to officials.
Residents of Charanikhali hamlet in Basanti Uttar, Haran Gayen (40), Nishikant Gayen (35) and Dibakar Gayen (32), typically spent the majority of the year in the southern state and worked menial jobs there.
They returned home a few days ago, and they were taking the Coromandel Express back to Tamil Nadu to look for job as farm labour.
A sense of doom settled over the community as word of their deaths spread. As neighbours continued to comfort them, their spouses passed out.
Locals reported that Anajita, Haran’s wife, is a neurological patient and that her current medical care is in doubt. He is survived by two daughters who are married and a son who recently began working at a nearby restaurant.
In addition to his wife, Nishikant is survived by his two small children, a daughter and a boy. Along with his wife, Dibakar is survived by two boys.
Avijit, the son of Haran, sobbed inconsolably, “My father and uncles are no longer with us; our family is devastated.”
According to officials, the incident on Friday night claimed the lives of 12 residents of the district.