Around 70 individuals have lost their lives and approximately 400 others have been injured in an accident where a passenger train collided with the derailed coaches of another train in Balasore, Odisha, news agency PTI reported. There are concerns that several people may still be trapped.
Initial reports suggested that Koromandal Express Train (12841) derailed and rammed into a goods train near Bahanaga railway station in Odisha's Balasore district on Friday.
However, recent reports show that at least three trains-- Bengaluru-Howrah superfast express, Coromandel Express and a goods train-- were involved in the accident.
Teams have left for the spot for search and rescue operation. Collector, Balasore has also been directed to reach the spot to make all necessary arrangements and intimate the SRC if any additional help is required from the state level, Special Relief Commissioner, Office informed.
The individuals who sustained injuries have been transferred to healthcare facilities such as Soro CHC, Gopalpur CHC, and Khantapada PHC, as stated by the Chief Secretary of Odisha.
The accident happened around 7.20 pm near Bahanaga Bazar station when the train was on the way to Chennai Central station from the Shalimar station near Kolkata, they said.
Expressing distress over the accident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said rescue operations were underway at the site and all possible assistance was being given to those affected.
PM Modi also spoke to Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to take stock of the situation.
Ashwini Vaishnaw, taking to Twitter, said he was rushing to the accident site in Odisha. "My prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured and condolences to the bereaved families. Rescue teams mobilised from Bhubaneswar and Kolkata. NDRF, State govt. teams and Airforce also mobilised. Will take all hands required for the rescue ops," he added.
The railway minister also declared Ex-gratia compensation to the victims- "₹10 Lakh in case of death, ₹2 Lakh towards grievous and ₹50,000 for minor injuries," Vaishnaw said.
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