Balasore (Odisha) [India], June 3 (ANI): Union Minister of Education and Skill Development, Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday expressed grief over the horrific train derailment in Odisha's Balasore on Friday evening and consoled the loss of lives.
In a tweet, the Union minister said he received word of the derailment in his native state on his arrival in Kolkata, adding that his thoughts and prayers were with the families of the victims.
"Landed in Kolkata to the unfortunate news of the train mishap in Balasore. My thoughts and prayers are with the families who have lost their loved ones," he said.
Later, on Friday night, the Union minister left for Balasore.
The minister wished the injured a speedy recovery and urged them to be strong.
"Wish for the earliest recovery and well-being of all, particularly those who are critically injured. Urge all those affected to stay strong. Leaving for Balasore," he said.
The message was tweeted after a collision occurred between a passenger train and goods train in Odisha's Balasore district on Friday, leaving over 50 passengers dead and 600 injured.
Several coaches of the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed near Bahanaga station in Odisha's Balasore after hitting a goods train.
The injured were shifted to Soro CHC, Gopalpur CHC, and Khantapada PHC, informed Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena.
According to Railway Spokesperson Amitabh Sharma, the accident took place at around 7 pm on Friday.
"At around 7 pm, 10-12 coaches of the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed near Baleswar and fell on the opposite track. After some time, another train from Yeswanthpur to Howrah dashed into those derailed coaches resulting in the derailment of its 3-4 coaches," Sharma told ANI.
NDRF's first team of 22 members, from Balasore Railway Station (BLS), reached the site. Another team from Centralised Traffic Control (CTC) of 32 members started half an hour before, said officials.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed the state minister Pramila Mallik and Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) to reach the accident site immediately. Minister and SRC left for the scene of the accident.
After the accident, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee shared emergency helpline numbers for natives affected by the tragic incident.
"We are coordinating with the Odisha government and South Eastern Railway for our people's sake," the West Bengal CM said.
The CM also shared emergency control room numbers -- 033-22143526 and 033-22535185.
She further said her government was trying to coordinate with the Odisha government.
"I am monitoring the situation personally with the chief secretary and other senior officers," she said.
The Odisha chief secretary informed further that a large number of buses have been dispatched to the accident site in Balasore."Nearly 50 ambulances have been sent to the spot but the injured appear to be far too many," he said. (ANI)