According to officials, a tragic incident occurred in India’s eastern Odisha state, resulting in the loss of at least 261 lives and leaving 650 individuals injured. The crash involved three trains colliding with each other.
The unfortunate event took place on Friday evening when one passenger train derailed and its coaches fell onto the adjacent track.
Subsequently, an incoming train collided with the fallen coaches. Additionally, a stationary freight train was also involved in the collision.
Authorities have concluded the rescue operation at the crash site. However, the exact cause of this century’s most devastating train crash in India remains unclear.
Reports indicate that several carriages of the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed at approximately 19:00 local time (13:30 GMT) in Balasore district. As a result, these coaches struck a stationary goods train and ended up on the opposite track. Subsequently, the Howrah Superfast Express, traveling from Yesvantpur to Howrah, collided with the overturned carriages.
Atul Karwal, the chief of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), stated,
“The trains collided with such force that numerous coaches were crushed and mangled.”
This incident ranks as the third deadliest crash in the history of Indian railways, according to Karwal.
Following the tragedy, more than 200 ambulances, along with a large number of doctors, nurses, and rescue personnel, were dispatched to the scene. Pradeep Jena, the state’s chief secretary, confirmed the substantial response.
Initially, Sudhanshu Sarangi, director general of Odisha Fire Services, reported that 288 individuals had lost their lives. However, later updates confirmed the lower figure of 261 casualties.
The rescue operation, aimed at recovering individuals from the wreckage, has concluded.
Efforts are now focused on restoring the crash site, as stated by India’s South Eastern Railway company on Saturday.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw is currently present at the accident site, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit the injured individuals in the hospital later today.
A male survivor shared his harrowing experience, recounting how he was trapped beneath 10 to 15 people when the accident occurred, causing chaos.
He sustained injuries to his hand and the back of his neck.
Upon emerging from the wreckage, he witnessed others who had lost limbs or suffered severe facial injuries, as reported by India’s ANI news agency.
To honor the lives lost, a day of mourning has been declared in the state.