Circumstances of death and pattern of fatal railway injury

Hemanta Panigrahi, Sudeepa Das, Kiran Kumar Patnaik


Background: The progressive extension of railway networking and increasing number of passengers as well as goods train to meet the demands of rapid industrialization and growing urbanisation, results in an increase in the various modes of railway fatalities.
Objective: To evaluate the pattern and distribution of fatal railway injuries in relation to the circumstances of death in cases of railway related deaths.
Materials and Methods: The study was conducted at Forensic Medicine and Toxicology department of M.K.C.G. Medical College & Hospital, Berhampur for medico legal autopsy on selected cases of death due to alleged railway injuries, were subjected to thorough post mortem examination and the pattern of injuries noted.
Results: A total number of 1314 cases were brought for medico-legal autopsy during the study period, out of which 94 cases were selected for the present study having clear history of railway related deaths (in which either a train caused death or in which a body was found on the track) excluding all other causes of death (even the cases brought by the GRPS having natural deaths were not considered as study material).
Conclusion: The study conducted in the department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology revealed that the number of railway related deaths, both accidents and suicides is substantial in the locality. Amongst these, accidental railway deaths (63.83%) outnumber the other manners of death. The ante mortem nature of the railway injuries could be well established in the present case study material.

Keywords: Accidental, Decapitation, Fatalities, Transection, Trauma.

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