Tragic train accident in Odisha kills nearly 300, 900 injured; Centre ropes in NDRF, armed forces for rescue operations
The NDRF carried out rescue operations that lasted for more than 10 hours with over 1500 personnel working at the site alongwith with Odisha state disaster response teams, Odisha Police and fire and emergency services
Following the tragic train collision of three trains in Odisha, the Centre has deployed additional forces and even roped in armed forces for the rescue operations.
PM Narendra Modi held a high level meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah, National Disaster Response (NDRF) DG Atul Karwal and higher functionaries in the government.
The Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express collided with a good train at Balasore in Odisha leaving the train derailed and hundreds injured. Later, Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express collided with the same derailed train causing a huge accident with hundreds more dead and injured.
The initial death toll that stated with the 50 persons reached to nearly 300 by June 3 afternoon with over 900 persons reported injured. The families of the survivors are desperately looking for their family members. While the railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Odisha CM Naveen Pattanaik visited Balasore to take stock of situation, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, MK Stalin and Siddramaiah announced aide for the citizens to return to their destinations.
The NDRF carried out rescue operations that lasted for more than 10 hours with over 1500 personnel working at the site alongwith with Odisha state disaster response teams, Odisha Police and fire and emergency services. On June 3, the Centre deployed Army and Indian Airforce for the rescue operations.
The Indian Army and the Indian Air Force joined the rescue operations in Balasore. Medical and engineering teams from the Army from the Eastern Command have been called in to join rescue work. The Indian Air Force has deployed helicopters in the evacuation of casualties.
Narendra Singh Bundela, Inspector General of Operations at the National Disaster Response Force (NDRP), said teams have rescued passengers found alive at the site, but many bodies remain trapped under the derailed carriages.
He said, “The coaches are very heavy and it’s been a difficult task to remove them and identify bodies. 17 coaches were derailed and severely damaged. This is a serious incident and the government has ordered an inquiry".
200 ambulances, 50 buses and 45 mobile health units were working at the accident site. The Odisha government has also issued an emergency contact number — 06782-262286. Additional fire service teams, doctors and ambulances are also being rushed from nearby districts.
The authorities stated that the rescue operations are underway while the railways begun clearing the tracks and start the restoration process.