Showing the warmth of his heart, a cold storage owner played a big role in ensuring dignity to the dead after the Indore-Patna express train derailment.
The trader opened his cold storage for the Kanpur Dehat administration to keep the bodies of the victims there after the mortuary was finding it difficult to accommodate all of them.
Atul Agarwal, owner of Sri Anandeshwar Cold Storage at Bara village in Akbarpur, 25km from the site of the derailment at Pukhrayan, took the step after he saw the situation going out of control.
“I was closely following the developments in the train crash. But we never knew that the death toll would be so high that it could be difficult for the mortuary to accommodate the bodies,” he told HT.
By Sunday evening, the death toll touched 125 and the mortuary had no space for more bodies. It was then that Atul handed over the keys of his cold storage to the Kanpur Dehat district administration so that the bodies could be kept there and prevented from decaying.
Rajeev Upadhyaya, tehsildar from Derapur village who was taking care of the bodies kept in the cold storage, said, “It was a kind gesture by Atul Agarwal.”
Upadhyaya said nearly 60 bodies were kept in the cold storage since Sunday evening as all other places, including the mortuary, did not have more room.
“In fact, preserving such a large numbers of bodies with ice was not feasible. At this difficult hour, Atul’s generosity gave us a solution,” he added.
Only 13 bodies remain at the cold storage now. “A majority of bodies have been dispatched after their identification. Only 13 are left now,” he said.
Kanpur Dehat district magistrate Ravi Kant Singh said: “I haven’t seen people so helpful before. People are coming forward to help with all the means (at their disposal).”