Day after Balasore train accident: 300 die, 900 still under treatment

PM Narendra Modi, who visited the accident site and met victims, said guilty would not be spared; Commissioner railway safety, South-East circle, tasked to probe the mishap

Balasore Train accident

Bhubaneshwar/New Delhi: Around 300 passengers have died and over 900 undergoing treatment in various hospitals after Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express hit a goods train and subsequent ramming by Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast express in to the derailed coaches in Odisha’s Balasore district on Friday evening.

This is was one of the deadliest train accidents in the country. Around 235 persons were killed when a passenger train carrying more than 800 derailed near Dhamara Pul between Mansi and Saharsa and dived into Bagmati river on June 6, 1981.

Casualties shot up as accident involved 3 trains

Officials said that the casualties in the accident escalated to such a high level as it involved three trains, one goods train and two superfast trains. The derailment took place at around 7pm. About10-12 coaches of Chennai Central bound Coromandel Express, which was running at normally high speed near Bahanaga Bazar railway station, derailed as its engine hit the tail end wagons of the goods train that were trapped in the track junction.

Prime Minster Narendra Modi, accompanied by railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, visited the accident site and met the accident victims at Fakir Mohan Hospital, Balasore.

Guilty would be punished severely: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the three-train crash in Odisha was a painful incident and the government will leave no stone unturned for the treatment of those injured. He also assured that those found guilty in the incident will be punished severely.

“It’s a painful incident. The government will leave no stone unturned for the treatment of those injured. It’s a serious incident, and instructions have been issued for the probe from every angle. Those found guilty will be punished stringently. The railways is working towards track restoration. I met the injured victims,” Modi said after visiting a hospital in Odisha’s Balasore where injured passengers are being treated.

The death toll in the tragic train derailment in Odisha’s Balasore district has gone up to 238 (By Saturday afternoon), with at least 900 people injured, said South Eastern Railway (SER) said on Saturday.

Railway Commissioner Safety tasked to probe mishap

Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Saturday morning visited the accident site and announced a detailed high-level inquiry will be conducted and an independent inquiry by the rail safety commissioner.

Meanwhile, the Indian Railways have announced compensation of ₹10 lakh to the nearest kin of the deceased, ₹ 2 lakh for those seriously injured and ₹ 50,000 for those who sustained minor injuries in the accident.

SER issues statement on train accident

In a bulletin, the SE Railway said: “Train number 12841 Shalimar-Chennai, Coromandal Express and Train number 12864 Sir M Visvesvaraya-Howrah Superfast Express got derailed near Bahanaga Bazar Railway station at around 6.55 p.m. on June 2.

“Accident Relief trains with medical equipment, doctors and paramedics have rushed to the site from Kharagpur and Bhadrak,” it said.

“As per the information received till now, there are 288 casualties. Around 650 injured passengers have been taken to the Hospitals of Gopalpur, Khantapara, Balasore, Bhadrak and Soro,” the SE Railway said. It also said that Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has reached the spot and is supervising the rescue operation.

According to railways, Coromandel Express was headed towards Chennai, while Sir M Visvesvaraya-Howrah Superfast Express was coming towards Howrah with 1,000 passengers, when this accident took place on Friday evening.

Also Read: Coromandel Exp derails in Odisha’s Balasore, 50 feared dead

A senior railway ministry official said that the massive train accident happened after coaches of Coromandel Express derailed and hit a standing good trains on one side while some capsised on opposite rail track on which SMVP-Howrah Superfast Express was coming from Yashwantpur side and going towards Howrah.

The SMVP-Howrah Superfast Express hit the capsized coaches and massive accident took place.

The visuals from the accident site showed how the coaches of the two trains capsized on each other while NDRF and several other agencies used gas cutters to bring out the survivors from the mangled coaches.

200 ambulances, 30 buses joined rescue operation

More than 200 ambulances along with 30 buses have been pressed into service, Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena said. He also said that 7 teams of NDRF, 5 teams of ODRAF and 24 fire service units, local police and volunteers kept up the search for survivors and bodies trapped in the heap of mangled coaches throughout the night.

The Railways have also announced an inquiry by AM Chodhary, CRS/SE Circle. A senior Railway Ministry official in Delhi said that the exact number of casualties will only be clear once the entire wreckage is sifted through. He said that the rescue operation is still underway. Railways has cancelled several trains on the Chenaai-Howrah route, which is one the busiest routes of the national transporter.

Major train accidents

  • June 1981: At least 235 people were killed when coaches of an overcrowded passenger train jumped off the track and fell into a Bagmati river in Saharsa during a cyclone.
  • July 1988: An express train plunged into a monsoon-swollen lake near Quilon in Perunam in southern India, killing at least 106 people.
  • August 1995: The Firozabad rail disaster occurred when the Purushottam Express collided with the stationary Kalindi Express near Firozabad, killing 400 people
  • August 1999: The Gaisal train disaster occurred when the Brahmaputra Mail collided into the stationary Avadh Assam Express at Gaisal station in North Frontier Railway’s Katihar division, killing at least 285 and injuring more than 300
  • October 2005 – The Valigonda train wreck occurred when the Delta Fast Passenger train derailed where a small rail bridge had been swept away by a flash flood, near the town of Valigonda, Andhra Pradesh, killing at least 114 and injuring over 200
  • July 2011: Around 70 people were killed and over 300 injured when a mail train derailed in Fatehpur. The accident occurred on July 10, 2011, at 12:20, when the 15 coaches of Howrah-Kalka Mail derailed near Malwan. As per news reports, fire and sparks were reported in the AC compartments of the train.
  • May 2012: On May 22, 2012, in the Hampi Express mishap, a cargo train and the Hubli-Bangalore Hampi Express collided close to Andhra Pradesh. Nearly 25 fatalities and about 43 injuries were reported as a result of the train derailment.
  • May 2014: On May 26, in the Sant Kabir Nagar area of Uttar Pradesh, the Gorakhdham Express, which was headed towards Gorakhpur, collided with a halted goods train in close proximity to Khalilabad station, resulting in 25 fatalities and more than 50 injuries.
  • November 2016: Some 146 people were killed and more than 200 injured when an express train derailed in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. On November 20, 2016, the Indore–Patna Express 19321 derailed near Pukhrayan, Kanpur at around 3.10 am and around fourteen carriages were derailed.
  • January 2017: At least 41 people are killed after several coaches of a passenger train derailed in southern Andhra Pradesh. On January 21, 2017, the Hirakhand Express 18448, a passenger train from Jagdalpur to Bhubaneswar, derailed near the village of Kuneru in Vizianagaram.
  • August 2017: On August 19, the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express derailed in Muzaffarnagar, killing 23 people and injuring nearly 60 others. At around 5:45 pm, 14 of the 23 coaches of the train derailed near Khatauli in the Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh. The train was heading from Puri to Haridwar.
  • August 2017: On August 23, 2017, nine train coaches of the Delhi-bound Kaifiyat Express derailed near Auraiya, Uttar Pradesh, causing at least 70 injuries. The accident took place when the train collided with a dump truck on the line, causing ten coaches of the Kaifiyat Express to derail.
  • October 2018: A commuter train ran through a crowd gathered on the tracks for a festival in northern India’s Amritsar, killing at least 59 people and injuring 57. The crowd had gathered on the tracks to watch the Dussehra celebrations.
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