Death toll in Balasore train accident rises to 238; Railway Minister, Odisha CM visit mishap site

Balasore: The death toll in the tragic train mishap in Balasore district rose to 238. Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik visited the accident site to take stock of the situation.

There are 238 casualties, around 650 passengers were injured. The victims have been taken to the hospitals in Gopalpur, Khantapada, Balasore, Bhadrak and Soro, informed the South Eastern Railway in a bulletin this morning.

The rescue operation is still underway. The identified bodies are either being handed over to their relatives or transported to their respective destinations after autopsy. Statutory procedure will be followed for the unidentified ones, informed Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena today.

Speaking to media persons at the accident spot, Vaishnaw said, “Our prime focus is on rescue and proper treatment of the injured persons, and dissemination of proper information of the passengers to their relatives and restoration of railway services as well.

“Restoration will begin after clearance from district administration. All machinery required for the restoration work have been kept ready at Soro, Balasore,” he said.

Expressing grief over loss of lives, he said, “This was one of the tragic accidents. We are praying for the departed souls. The NDRF, SDRF and state government are carrying out a joint operation for rescue of injured passengers since last night. We will provide the best medical facilities in hospitals in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Kolkata. A high-level committee has been formed to probe into the matter. The Commissioner of Railway Safety has been asked to join the probe to ascertain the exact cause of the accident.”

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Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has also reached the accident site to review the situation and rescue operation.

In view of the tragic rail accident at Bahanaga, he ordered for State Mourning for a day.

There will be no State celebration will take place on June 3, informed Odisha Information and Public Relations Department.
Rescue operation is still going on.

The 17 overturned coaches of the Coromandel Express and SMVT-Howrah Super Fast Express are being removed to see whether anyone is still trapped under the coaches.

According to reports, two coaches of Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express (12864) derailed at Panapana at around 7.08 pm on Friday. Chennai-bound Coromandel Express (12841), which was passing on the route, collided with the derailed coaches killing several passengers on board.

The massive accident also left more than 900 people injured.

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