Tragic Train Crash in India Stresses Need for Reunification Solution

Following the horrific train crash in India, one family’s search for their 16-year-old son highlights the importance of reliable patient tracking and the invaluable need for reunification. This story appears in The Wall Street Journal.

Use Case

After receiving a phone call that their son had been involved in the train crash, the Paswan family immediately began trying to track down their son as well as other relatives he had been traveling with. A total of 228 people were killed and more than 900 injured in the tragic accident, leaving hundreds of families panickily searching for information on their loved ones.

Local officials provided incomplete lists of survivors, families forced to travel from hospital to hospital and morgue to morgue in hopes of any information. At one hospital, a slideshow of dead bodies stored there was shown to families allowing them to look for their missing relatives. Another slideshow displayed corpses being held at five other hospitals nearby. Sadly, it was difficult for most families to look at the photos and confirm identification of their loved ones due to the condition of the bodies. And when the Paswan family thought they recognized their son in one of the photos, they were told the body had already been claimed and could leave a sample of their DNA for confirmation. But no other information was provided.

In the end, the photo was not their son. After more than three days of searching, the Paswan family was directed to another hospital that was treating a young man with the same name as their son, and it was him. Following the crash, their son was transferred to the intensive-care unit after losing consciousness and not waking up until a few days later. Staff tried to locate his parents but were unable to reach them. As you can image, their eventual reunion was emotional and overdue.


As this despairing and terrifying story shows, jurisdictions need the ability to not only track patients following a large-scale emergency, but more importantly need the ability to quickly and accurately reunite families with their loved ones. Families should not have to wait hours upon hours or even days for information about their missing relatives nor should they have to deal with competing claims by providing their DNA samples. At the same time, managing a response of this size is complex with hundreds of victims, patients, and survivors being moved to various medical facilities and other locations across the region. Responding agencies need an intuitive and scalable solution to manage the tracking, identification, and reunification of potentially thousands of impacted individuals.

Simple Tracking System

Simple Tracking System used for tracking and reunification is an innovative tool that can help organizations improve their emergency response capabilities. In the case of a large-scale emergency, STS tracks the location and status of individuals impacted by a disaster. STS helps responders quantify the number of patients, document their medical status, track the location to where they are transferred for medical care, and reunite families searching for their missing relatives. This provides peace of mind to both individuals and their families, reducing the stress, anxiety, and most importantly the guesswork associated with disasters.

Information and images used in this blog article are sourced from the news article available at