Odisha, a state in the Eastern part of India, witnessed a horrific train accident, killing more than 280 passengers and injuring around 900 others. The accident occurred around 220 kilometers southwest of Kolkata on Friday night, making it one of the deadliest train crashes in the country’s history.
In a race against time, rescuers worked through the piles of debris and wreckage to pull out bodies and free people trapped in the mangled rail cars. Local residents, army soldiers, and air force helicopters joined the massive relief effort.
“By 10 p.m. (on Friday) we were able to rescue the survivors. After that, it was about picking up dead bodies. This is very, very tragic. I have never seen anything like this in my career,” said Sudhanshu Sarangi, director of Odisha’s fire and emergency department.
This disaster involved two passenger trains, both of which derailed causing widespread destruction. In addition, a freight train may also have been involved, according to the Press Trust of India.
Our hearts go out to all those affected by this tragedy. As we publish this story on mandynews.com, our thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives and those who were injured.
A Look Into the Rescue Operation
Rescue teams, equipped with cutting torches, climbed atop the wrecked trains to break open doors and windows to free survivors. According to P.K. Jena, the state’s top administrative official, around 900 people were injured in this accident in Balasore district.
“The challenge now is identifying the bodies. Wherever the relatives are able to provide evidence, the bodies are handed over after autopsies. If not identified, maybe we have to go for a DNA test and other protocols,” Jena explained.
The Incident Unraveled
Amitabh Sharma, a railroad ministry spokesperson, said that ten to twelve coaches of one train derailed. The debris from the derailed coaches fell onto a nearby track, which was hit by another passenger train coming from the opposite direction, causing further devastation.
Passenger Vandana Kaleda recounts her terrifying experience during the derailment. “As I stepped out of the washroom, suddenly the train tilted. I lost my balance… Everything went topsy turvy. People started falling on each other and I was shocked and could not understand what happened.”
Aftermath and Relief Efforts
Following the accident, 200 severely injured passengers were transferred to specialty hospitals across different cities in the state, while others were treated in local hospitals. Locals also rushed to a nearby hospital to donate blood, helping to support the overwhelming demand due to the high number of injured victims.
Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, expressed his distress over the incident, extending his thoughts to the families affected. In a tweet, he said:
“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 possible assistance is being given to those affected.” ^source^
India’s railway minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw, announced a high-level probe into the incident and promised all necessary assistance for the rescue operation.
“Rushing to the site in Odisha. My prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured and condolences to the bereaved families. Rescue teams mobilised from Bhubaneswar and Kolkata. NDRF, State govt. teams and Airforce also mobilised. Will take all hands required for the rescue ops.” ^source^
A Glimpse into India’s Train Accidents
India’s railway system, one of the largest in the world, experiences several hundred accidents every year despite ongoing efforts to improve safety. In 1995, two trains collided near New Delhi, killing 358 people, marking one of the most disastrous train accidents in the country’s history.
This recent accident in Odisha once again brings to the forefront the pressing issue of rail safety in India. For more updates and in-depth coverage, stay tuned to mandynews.com.
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