After three trains — the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express, M Visvesvaraya-Howrah Superfast Express, and a goods train — derailed and crashed into one another in Balasore, Odisha, the South Eastern Railway confirmed that rescue operations have been completed on site and 261 casualties have been reported so far. The official number of those injured is nearing 1,000.
According to sources in the government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was given details of the accident by senior railway ministry officials this morning.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announced at 12:48 pm that PM Modi is leaving for Odisha. Union railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, who was earlier headed for Goa, went straight to the site to inspect relief work. The minister announced that a high-level probe has been ordered on what caused the accident.
“Injured passengers have been taken to the Hospitals of Gopalpur, Khantapara, Balasore, Bhadrak and Soro. Hon’ble Minister for Railways has reached the spot and is overseeing the rescue operation and restoration work,” spokesperson of SER said.
“Chairman, Railway Board is at Cuttack hospital and DG/Health, Railway Board is at Balasore hospital, monitoring the treatment of injured passengers. Principal Chief Medical Director and General Manager/SER are also looking after the injured passengers at other hospitals. Member Infrastructure, Railway Board is present at the derailment site and overseeing the restoration work,” he added.
According to the official railways version, Coromandel Express derailed at 6:54 pm near Bahanaga Bazaar station in the Balasore district, which caused 10-12 coaches of the passenger train to capsize on the adjacent track. Minutes later, the Howrah-M Visvesvaraya Superfast express, which was arriving on this adjacent track, crashed into the derailed coaches leading to its own derailment of 3-4 coaches.
Odisha train accident: PM Modi distressed, speaks to railway minister
At least 50 dead, 350 injured as trains derail in Odisha; rescue ops on
Rishabh Pant injured in a car crash near Roorkee, BCCI issues statement
Pant thanks 'two heroes' in 1st statement after crash, says recovering well
Difficult terrain, loose regulations: What makes Nepal so risky to fly
Despite Kavach, record budget push, train accidents rose by 37% in FY23
Odisha tragedy: Safety should always be priority in rail network, says Cong
Toll in Odisha triple train crash rises to 261, rescue operations complete
Rajnath Singh to hold bilateral talks with US, German counterparts
Justin Trudeau expresses grief over loss of lives in Odisha's train mishap
However, officials from the Odisha government claim that a third train, a goods train, parked on the side, was also involved in the accident. Its exact role in the accident is unclear so far.
“Ex-gratia compensation to the victims of this unfortunate train accident in Odisha; Rs 10 lakh in case of death, Rs 2 lakh towards grievous and Rs 50,000 for minor injuries,” Vaishnaw had tweeted on Friday night.
The spokesperson of Indian Railways, Amitabh Sharma, confirmed that the route was not covered by railways’ anti-collision technology – Kavach. Several experts have claimed that the automatic alert and braking system of the technology would have been able to prevent the deadly accident.