The struggle to identify India train crash victims

STORY: For four days he's been trawling the hospitals that received victims of India's worst train crash in two decades.

Mohammed Imam Ul Haq found the body of one of his nephews on Tuesday (June 6) and sent him home for burial.

But he has found no trace of his brother, who was also travelling on the Coromandel Express when it crashed last Friday.

And whom he believes was among at least 288 people killed.

What Haq believes were the remains of a second nephew were also claimed by another family.

"There is one nephew we have identified. He is my nephew but there are five more claimants who are saying he is their relative. That's why the body will have to undergo DNA tests and only after that will we receive it. It will be given to whoever's DNA matches with the body."

Many more families face a similar plight with scores of bodies still lying in morgues unclaimed.

Indian authorities have made fervent appeals to families to help identify them.

But the task has been difficult as well as traumatic because the crash occurred at high speed, and many victims were beyond recognition.

A senior police official told Reuters a list was made of distinguishing features for each body and relatives could first view photographs.

Authorities say they've taken DNA samples from all bodies in hospitals across the eastern state of Odisha.

Nizamuddin was able to identify and collect the body of his 12-year-old grandson.

"He is my grandson. We are still unable to find the other two - we have not been able to find his father. And also his elder brother, we have not been able to conclusively identify and find him either. We have found only one so far and I am taking him with me."

The disaster occurred when the Coromandel Express hit a stationary freight train, jumped the tracks and hit another passenger train passing in the opposite direction.