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Facial recognition used to identify victims of deadly train accident in India

Facial recognition used to identify victims of deadly train accident in India

Railway authorities have used facial recognition technology to determine the identity of at least 50 dead bodies from the recent train derailment in the Indian state of Odisha, which killed nearly 300 people.

According to a news report by Deccan Herald, the system was used to identify the faces of people whose bodies were badly mutilated as a result of the accident, which made it possible for the family members of the deceased victims to be informed of the mishap.

The railway was also said to be using its extensive network to contact more family members, especially of victims who traveled with general class tickets.

The faces of the victims were matched with the information linked to their mobile numbers and their Aadhaar numbers were also found from KYC data, the outlet notes.

Odisha Chief Secretary P.K. Jena is quoted as saying that of the deaths, 205 bodies had been identified, while 83 others were yet to be identified.

Program to ID unclaimed bodies in Pakistan reaping fruits

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Pakistan, a biometric identification program dubbed Shanakht which was put in place to help identify dead bodies and people in emergency situations in hospitals in the city of Karachi is said to be yielding good results.

Since it was launched in 2015 thanks to a collaboration between the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) and the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA), it has been able to identify more than 4,500 bodies and around 500 inanimate patients in hospitals, reports Dawn.

Officials say before the program was introduced, over 200,000 corpses had been buried in a graveyard run by a social welfare organization, Edhi Foundation, as it was impossible to identify the victims or contact their relatives.

Now, the CPLC says the number of unclaimed bodies has drastically dropped thanks to the initiative. Amir Hassan, who is one of the brains behind the project, is quoted as saying the results are “really encouraging.”

The system is also being praised by those who have, in the past, sweated to find their missing family members or other love ones.

Similar programs have been considered in other countries for disaster response.

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