India train Accident: 288+ dead, 850+ injured, worst in 20+ years

India Train Accident

 

 

India Train Accident worst Over Two Decades: Collision of Two Passenger Trains in Odisha State Claims 288 Lives.

The collision of two passenger trains in Odisha state, India, has resulted in a tragic loss of lives. The death toll has risen to 288, making it the country’s deadliest train accident in more than twenty years. With over 850 individuals injured, rescue efforts are still underway, according to Sudhanshu Sarangi, the director general of Odisha Fire Services.

Rescue Efforts and Casualties:

Despite ongoing rescue operations, the situation remains grave, with a significant number of serious injuries reported. Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena shared on Twitter that more than 200 ambulances were dispatched to the accident site, accompanied by an additional 100 doctors who were mobilized to aid the 80 already present. Disturbing footage captured by Reuters depicted bodies covered in white cloths being removed from the railway tracks.

Survivor Accounts:

One survivor, who preferred to remain unidentified, recounted the horrifying experience. Awakened by the noise of the train derailing, the survivor witnessed the tragic aftermath, including the sight of multiple deceased individuals. Managing to escape from the coach, the survivor described the scene as one filled with dismembered bodies.

Collision Details:

The collision occurred at around 19:00 local time (13:30 GMT) on Friday when the Howrah Superfast Express, traveling from Bangalore to Howrah, West Bengal, collided with the Coromandel Express, running from Kolkata to Chennai. Authorities have yet to determine which train derailed first and became entangled with the other, prompting the Ministry of Railways to initiate an investigation into the incident.

Conflicting Accounts and Ongoing Investigation:

While Chief Secretary Jena and certain media reports suggested the involvement of a freight train in the crash, railway authorities have not officially commented on this possibility. As authorities work to establish a clearer understanding of the events leading up to the collision, an extensive search-and-rescue operation has been launched. This operation involves the participation of hundreds of fire department personnel, police officers, sniffer dogs, and National Disaster Response Force teams.

Safety Concerns and Rail Infrastructure:

The accident highlights the challenges faced by Indian Railways, which transports more than 13 million people daily. The state-run monopoly has struggled with maintaining a consistent safety record due to aging infrastructure. The Ministry of Railways acknowledges the need for improvements and has prioritized safety measures across the rail network.

Public Response and State Mourning:

In response to the tragedy, hundreds of young individuals queued outside a government hospital in Odisha’s Soro to donate blood. The state has declared Saturday a day of state mourning as a mark of respect to the victims.

Historical Context:

India’s deadliest railway accident to date occurred in 1981 when a train plunged off a bridge and into a river in Bihar state, claiming the lives of approximately 800 people. The recent collision in Odisha serves as a tragic reminder of the critical importance of railway safety.

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally visited the scene of the tragedy in Odisha, where the collision of two passenger trains had claimed numerous lives. Displaying his empathy and concern, he engaged with the rescue workers and carefully inspected the wreckage. Additionally, he took the time to meet with survivors at various hospitals.

Modi, deeply moved by the extent of the tragedy, expressed his heartfelt condolences and reassured the affected individuals of the government’s unwavering support. He shared his sentiments, stating, “Took stock of the situation at the site of the tragedy in Odisha. Words can’t capture my deep sorrow. We stand committed to providing all possible assistance to those affected.” His words conveyed his genuine sympathy and his determination to extend every possible aid to the victims and their families.

Prior to arriving at the scene, the Prime Minister took to Twitter to convey his solidarity with those impacted by the disaster. In his tweet, he stated, “In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon.” This message served as an expression of his heartfelt condolences, emphasizing his concern for the well-being and swift recovery of the injured individuals.

By personally visiting the site of the tragedy, interacting with rescue workers, inspecting the wreckage, and meeting survivors at hospitals. Prime Minister Modi demonstrated strong leadership and a hands-on approach in times of crisis. His presence not only provided solace to the affected individuals but also sent a powerful message of solidarity and support from the government. Modi’s commitment to providing assistance and his expression of sorrow reflect the government’s determination to alleviate the suffering and extend all possible aid to the affected families.

Witnesses:

Witnesses involved in rescue operations described the distressing sounds of screams and wails from the injured and grieving relatives. The witness conveyed the horror and heartbreak of the situation. The families of the deceased will receive 1 million rupees ($12,000) as compensation. However significant injuries will be compensated with 200,000 rupees and minor injuries with 50,000 rupees. State governments have also announced additional compensation. Disturbing video footage from Reuters showed police officials removing bodies covered in white cloths from the railway tracks. One survivor shared their experience of being awakened by the train derailing and witnessing multiple casualties and dismembered bodies.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif, FM Bilawal Bhutto, and Afghanistan’s Taliban government expressed condolences for the tragic loss of life in the triple train crash in Odisha.

The Chinese Embassy released a statement conveying that Chinese President sent messages of condolence to Indian President and PM. Additionally, Chinese Premier Li Qiang also expressed his condolences to PM Narendra Modi.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed his sorrow and extended condolences to the families affected by accident. Through a message shared on Twitter, the Prime Minister conveyed his deep sadness over the loss of lives. He empathized with the bereaved families, acknowledging the profound grief they must be experiencing. Shehbaz Sharif offered his heartfelt condolences to those who lost their loved ones in this tragic incident. Additionally, he expressed prayers for the swift recovery of the injured individuals, emphasizing his concern for their well-being. The Prime Minister’s message reflected a sense of compassion and solidarity with the people affected by the train accident. He highlighting the importance of unity and support during times of tragedy.

James Alworth

James Alworth

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