Tue, 03 Oct 2023

Bhubaneshwar (Odisha) [India], June 3 (ANI/Big News Network): Efforts are underway to cut the only bogie left which was severely damaged after the horrific train accident in Odisha's Balasore, state Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena said on Saturday.

The death toll is currently at 288 while more than 1,000 people were injured and are undergoing treatment.

Addressing a press conference earlier,the Chief Secretary said, "So far around 900 passengers have been injured and are being treated in various hospitals in Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Cuttack districts. A total of 233 dead bodies have been recovered so far. The search and rescue operation is going on."

"Only one bogie is left, which is severely damaged. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and Fire Service are still working to cut the bogie and try to recover the living or the dead," he added.

The Chief Secretary further said that the bodies were being handed over the kins of the deceased on producing identity documents.

"This mission is getting a little more difficult because the train is so badly damaged. The Railway Board Chairman, NDRF chief and District Magistrate are there on the site. The injured victims are being treated at both private and government hospitals. Autopsy has also started at some places," he said.

Jena added, "The bodies that have been identified and their kin are producing the documents are being given the body. If a body does not get identified then necessary procedure will be followed for autopsy and further action."As per the officials, a total of around 200 ambulances; including 167 of 108 fleet and over 20 government ambulances were deployed at the spot, along with 45 Mobile Health Teams.

In addition to this, 50 additional doctors along with a team of 25 doctors from SCB have also been mobilised. Forensic medicine specialists (FMT) were also mobilized.

Director Health Services, along with Director Blood Safety, Additional Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET) and three other Additional Directors are at Balasore and coordinating with the health teams, the officials said.

Several coaches of the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed near Bahanaga station in Odisha's Balasore after hitting a goods train.

According to Railway spokesperson Amitabh Sharma, the accident took place around 7 pm on Friday.

"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.

Meanwhile, the Odisha government has declared a day of mourning on Saturday in the wake of the train derailment.

The Konkan Railway officials informed that the flagging off ceremony of the Goa-Mumbai Vande Bharat Express has been cancelled in view of the tragic accident in Odisha.

Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Saturday said he had ordered a high-level probe into the derailment on Friday night.

Speaking to ANI on the incident, Vaishnaw said the accident was unfortunate and the rescue operation began shortly after word of the incident reached his ministry. (ANI/Big News Network)

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