Train Accident : More than 230 killed, 900 injured in three-train crash in India
Oddisa, India (DT)- More than 230 people have been killed and hundreds injured in a collision involving two passenger trains and a goods train in the Indian city of Balasore, in one of the worst rail crashes in recent history.
At least 233 people have died and 900 are injured, state chief secretary Pradeep Jena said on Twitter following the disaster in eastern Odisha state on Friday.
The death toll is expected to rise as teams carry out a colossal rescue operation, Jena told a press conference.
Images from the scene showed rescuers attempting to find survivors in a damaged rail carriage. Video footage also showed upturned coaches littered across train tracks, and people climbing a mangled train carriage.
Friday’s rescue effort included more than 115 ambulances and several fire service units, say authorities. About 500 units of blood were collected overnight with 900 units currently in stock, Jena wrote on Twitter.
“This will help in treating the accident victims. I’m personally indebted and grateful to all the volunteers who’ve donated blood for a noble cause,” he wrote.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was distressed by the incident and his thoughts were with the bereaved families.
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 @AshwiniVaishnaw and took stock of the situation. Rescue ops are underway at the site of the mishap and all…
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 2, 2023
“Rescue ops are under way at the site of the mishap and all possible assistance is being given to those affected,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah labelled the incident “deeply agonising”.
One male survivor said that “10 to 15 people fell on me when the accident happened and everything went haywire. I was at the bottom of the pile.
“I got hurt in my hand and also the back of my neck. When I came out of the train bogie, I saw someone had lost their hand, someone had lost their leg, while someone’s face was distorted,” the survivor told India’s ANI news agency.
A day of mourning has been announced in the state.
— Diplomat Times (@diplomattimes) June 2, 2023
It is believed that several carriages from the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed at about 19:00 local time (13:30 GMT), with some of them ending up on the opposite track.
Another train – the Howrah Superfast Express travelling from Yesvantpur to Howrah – is then thought to have hit the overturned carriages.
Indian officials said that a goods train – which was stationary at the site – was also involved in the incident. They provided no further details.
Some surviving passengers were seen rushing in to help rescue those trapped in the wreckage.
Local bus companies were also helping to transport wounded passengers.
India has one of the largest train networks in the world and accidents are common, despite successive governments investing hundreds of millions of dollars to improve the infrastructure, says BBC South Asia regional editor Anbarasan Ethirajan.
India’s worst train disaster was in 1981, when an overcrowded passenger train was blown off the tracks and into a river during a cyclone in Bihar state, killing at least 800 people.