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Odisha Tragedy: Why Are So Many People Forced To Take the 'Hospital Express'?

The Coromandel Express ferried hundreds of patients from West Bengal to Tamil Nadu seeking medical treatment.

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Iva Banerjee, who hails from Kolkata, has taken the Coromandel Express multiple times over the past 10 years. The last stop of the train, Chennai Central, has been her destination each time.

Her husband, Subroto, who suffers from Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), has been undergoing treatment at Chennai's Sankara Nethralaya and needs regular supervision from doctors.

Every day, hundreds of people like the Banerjees board the Coromandel Express – dubbed the 'Hospital Express' – from various parts of West Bengal and Odisha to seek quality medical treatment at some of south India's most reputed hospitals.

On the fateful evening of Friday, 2 June, when the train derailed and crashed with two other trains in Odisha's Balasore, claiming at least 275 lives, many passengers onboard were believed to be going to Chennai and Vellore for medical treatments.

Like Purulia residents Chandana Ghosh and her husband Subrata, who were taking their seven-year-old son Sayan to CMC Vellore that evening.

They had wanted to get him treated for a behavioural disorder.

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Topics:  Tamil Nadu   Healthcare   West Bengal 

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