New Delhi: Over 233 people were killed and 900 were injured when a passenger train hit the derailed coaches of another train in Odisha’s Balasore Friday evening. A third freight train was also involved in the accident, Odisha Chief Secretary PK Jena told NDTV. Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said a high-level committee will be set up to investigate the train crash.
The crash, one of the deadliest in India in recent times, involved the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, and a goods train
Odisha Train Accident: The Coromandel Express was on the way to Chennai Central station from the Shalimar station near Kolkata when the accident happened.
Here is what we know so far
👉The accident happened around 7 pm near Bahanaga Bazar station in Balasore district.
👉The Yashwantpur-Howrah Superfast hit the derailed bogies of a few coaches of Coromandel Express which had crashed and fell on the opposite track, Railway Ministry spokesperson Amitabh Sharma said.
👉Several people were trapped under the derailed coaches, and locals were assisting emergency services personnel to rescue them, as per several reports.
👉Four units of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and 60 ambulances were working to rescue the injured, officials said.
👉A railway official said that a 22-member NDRF team has reached the accident site from Balasore, while another team consisting of 32 members has started from Cuttack.
👉At least 51 trains were diverted, cancelled and terminated after the accident.
👉Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was distressed by the accident, and spoke with Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to take stock of the situation.
👉Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed Special Relief Secretary Satyabrata Sahoo and Revenue Minister Pramila Malik to rush to the accident site, officials said.
👉Mr Vaishnaw has also announced compensation of Rs 10 lakh for those who have died, Rs 2 lakh for those seriously injured and Rs 50,000 for those who sustained minor injuries in the accident.
👉Prime Minister Narendra Modi too expressed his distress over the accident, and announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the family of the dead and Rs 50,000 for the injured from the PM’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF).
👉Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said Bengal is sending a team led by a Minister to the spot to aid victims.
👉The Odisha government has issued a helpline number – 06782-262286. The railway helplines are 033-26382217 (Howrah), 8972073925 (Kharagpur), 8249591559 (Balasore) and 044- 25330952 (Chennai).