Two passenger trains and a goods train collided in the Indian city of Balasore, resulting in over 200 fatalities and hundreds of injuries, making it the country’s fourth deadliest accident in history.
Following the accident in eastern Odisha state on Friday, State Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena said on Twitter that at least 233 people had perished and 900 had been injured.
According to Jena, who spoke at a press conference, the death toll is anticipated to increase as troops conduct a massive rescue operation.
Rescuers were seen looking for survivors inside a wrecked rail vehicle in photos taken at the scene. In some viral videos, inverted coaches were scattered across the tracks, and people were seen climbing a broken train.
According to authorities, more than 115 ambulances and several fire service units participated in the rescue effort on Friday. According to Jena’s tweet, 500 units of blood were collected over the night, leaving 900 units on hand.
“This will support the care of accident victims. I owe a debt of gratitude to each and every volunteer who gave blood in support of this noble cause, the man wrote.
Jena told CNN affiliate News18 that the cause of the tragic crash is still under investigation and emphasized that the present priority is ongoing rescue efforts.
“We are only working on sending additional doctors, ambulances, and buses, so all those things we are doing, we have not thought of asking what happened or how it happened,” he claimed.
According to Indian police, the fatal crash happened after one passenger train struck the coaches of another passenger train that had already derailed and been thrown onto the opposing track.
Jena reported that the Coromandel Express, a cargo train, and another passenger train were involved in a terrible accident close to the Bahanaga railway station in the Balasore area.
Around 7 o’clock, 10 to 12 of the coaches of the 12841 Coromandel Express, which travels between Shalimar and Chennai, derailed and were thrown onto the opposing track. After some time passed, a train traveling between Yesvantpur and Howrah slammed into those already wrecked coaches, derailing three to four of its own, according to Railway Spokesperson Amitabh Sharma.
Between Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, and Chennai, a city in South India, the Coromandel goes through India’s east coast.
On Friday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent a condolence tweet. “Upset about the train crash in Odisha My thoughts are with the grieving families during this difficult time. May those who were hurt quickly heal. At the accident scene, rescue operations are in progress, and the author said those who are hurt are receiving all available support.
The enormous rail network in India has deteriorating infrastructure and insufficient maintenance, which are frequently to blame for accidents.
The number of fatalities from Friday’s catastrophe has now eclipsed that of one of the deadliest crashes in recent memory, which occurred in 2016 and claimed over 140 lives in a derailment in northern Uttar Pradesh state.
About 16,431 people lost their lives in approximately 18,000 railway accidents nationwide in 2021. According to a 2021 report by the National Crime Records, “the majority (67.7%) of railway accident cases were documented as “fall from trains” or “collision with people on track.”
Odisha According to the department, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said he would visit the accident scene early on Saturday to assess the situation.
The Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics, and Information Technology of India has declared that the families of those who died on Friday will get $12,136, with smaller sums being made available to those who were hurt in the collision.