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At least 50 killed, 300 injured in Coromandel Express mishap in Odisha's Balasore, massive rescue ops underway
Odisha train mishap

At least 50 killed, 300 injured in Coromandel Express mishap in Odisha's Balasore, massive rescue ops underway

| @indiablooms | 02 Jun 2023, 11:51 pm

Balasore/IBNS: At least 50 people were killed and 300-400 were injured when a passenger train hit the derailed coaches of another train in Odisha's Balasore on Friday evening. Many are feared trapped and the casualties may rise, officials said.

However, updates at 230 am quoting officials said the toll could be 120. 


A third freight train was also involved in the accident.

Some coaches of Coromandel Express, which was en route from Howrah's Shalimar to Chennai, had derailed and fallen onto the adjacent tracks. Yashwantpur-Howrah Superfast train, coming from the other side, rammed the derailed coaches, Railway Ministry spokesperson Amitabh Sharma told NDTV.

According another report, coaches of the Bengaluru-Howrah Express had derailed first and fell on adjacent tracks while the Coromandel Express collided on them. It also hit a goods train. 

The accident took place around 7.20 pm near Bahanaga Bazar station in Odisha's Balasore.

UPDATE AT 2-30 AM:  Toll could be between 60 and 120; 600 injured

Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena said: "As per the latest information, 600 people are injured and the death toll might be between 55 and 60."

However, Sudhanshu Sarangi, DG, Odisha Fire Services: "More than 400 people have been evacuated and sent to different hospitals. We have recovered more than 120 bodies. The death toll might go up as we complete the operation. It will take some more hours to complete the process."

"All our teams are here. I am looking after the rescue operation. The state government has provided all  resources that were needed. We have completed the evacuation of the injured. Now operations are underway to locate some more bodies which might be trapped under the compartments. We have 14 teams deployed here."

At least 15 coaches of the 12841 Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed while two of the 12864 Yashwantpur-Howrah Superfast Express derailed.

Odisha Fire Services chief Sudhanshu Sarangi is supervising rescue operations. Medical colleges and hospitals in and around Balasore have been alerted and 60 ambulances have been mobilised. Locals have also joined the rescue operations. 

About 300-400 people injured in the train accident have been admitted to different hospitals: Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena.

Visuals showed many coaches of the train got completely dismantled.

Over a hundred personnel of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) and its state counterpart are looking for trapped passengers and cutting through the debris to reach them.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and took stock of the situation.

"Distressed by the train accident in Odisha. In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon. Spoke to Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and took stock of the situation. Rescue ops are underway at the site of the mishap and all possible assistance is being given to those affected," PM Modi said.

President Droupadi Murmu in a tweet said: "Deeply anguished to know about the loss of lives in an unfortunate rail accident in Balasore, Odisha. My heart goes out to the bereaved families. I pray for the success of rescue operations and quick recovery of the injured."

Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw has announced ex-gratia of Rs.10 lakhs for the kind of the deceased and Rs. 2 lakhs for those severely injured.

“Ex-gratia compensation to the victims of this unfortunate train accident in Odisha; ₹10 Lakh in case of death, ₹2 Lakh towards grievous and ₹50,000 for minor injuries," Vaishnaw tweeted.

Expressing shock over the accident, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee informed that her government has sent a 5-6 member team to the spot to cooperate with the Odisha government and railway authorities and to assist rescue operations.

The West Bengal government has opened an emergency control room with numbers 033- 22143526/ 22535185, she 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.

The railways have activated several helpline numbers - 033-2638227 (Howrah),8972073925 (Kharagpur), 8249591559 (Balasore).

The Odisha Government too provided several helpline numbers -- 033-26382217, 8972073925, 67822 62286, 9332392339. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik too rushed to control room.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has expressed anguished over the accident and tweeted: "Anguished by the tragic news of the accident involving the Coromandel Express, in Balasore, Odisha. My heart goes out to the bereaved families. Wishing for the speedy recovery of those injured. I urge Congress workers & leaders to extend all support needed for rescue efforts."

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Chennai CM MK Stalin too expressed grief and prayed for the speedy recovery of those injured.

(Reporting by Sujoy Dhar)

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