The aftermath of a tragic train accident that took place on Friday night in Odisha's Balasore has left 288 passengers dead and over 1,000 injured. Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw who visited the accident site on Sunday morning spoke to the media and said that the root cause of the accident has been identified, and Prime Minister Modi personally inspected the site yesterday to assess the situation. Vaishnaw expressed the government's commitment to restoring the track as quickly as possible. 'The aim is to complete the restoration work by Wednesday morning to allow trains to resume operation on the affected track,' he said.
"The commissioner of railway safety has investigated the matter and let the investigation report come but we have identified the cause of the incident and the people responsible for it. It happened due to a change in electronic interlocking. Right now our focus is on restoration," said Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.
Removal of capsized bogies and connection of tracks underway
According to Aditya Kumar, Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of the South Eastern Railway, the capsized bogies have been successfully removed from the accident site. The process of connecting the track is underway from one side. Kumar stated that the work would be completed as soon as possible, emphasizing the importance of restoring the track for the resumption of train services.
Arrival of injured passengers in Chennai
Officials reported that a special train carrying passengers affected by the accident arrived in Chennai in the early hours of Sunday. The passengers were provided immediate assistance and care upon their arrival.
Railways Ministry's restoration efforts
The Railways Ministry informed the public that restoration work is being carried out at a war footing in Balasore. The ministry's tweet highlighted the continuous monitoring of the restoration process at the accident site.
Over 1,000 workers, including 7 Poclain machines, 2 Accident Relief Trains, and 3-4 Railway and Road Cranes, have been deployed to expedite the restoration efforts.
Rescue operations involving multiple agencies
Various rescue teams were involved in the immediate aftermath of the accident. Seven National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams, five Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) units, and 24 Fire Services and Emergency units collaborated to carry out rescue operations.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) played a crucial role by deploying Mi-17 helicopters for the evacuation of the deceased and injured. The IAF worked closely with the civil administration and Indian Railways to coordinate the rescue efforts effectively.