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  • Death toll in Odisha train accident rises to 261; Restoration and relief operations underway

    Published on June 3, 2023

    Restoration and relief operations are underway on a war-footing in Balasore’s Bahanaga train accident in Odisha. The death toll of the tragic train accident has risen to 261, and around 900 are feared critically injured. Informing this, Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena said the causality could increase as rescue operations are underway at accident site. He said the body identification has been carried out as per the procedures. The bodies of some persons have been handed over to their families and relatives. Seven NDRFs, five ODRFs, 24 fire service units, and local police and volunteers are currently carrying out the rescue operation. He said another two or three hours would take to complete the rescue operations, as two coaches of the Coromandel Express and SMVT-Howrah Super Fast Express are being removed to see whether anyone is still trapped under the coaches.

    Meanwhile, Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, who is on the accident site and reviewing the rescue operations said, our prime focus is on rescue and proper treatment of the injured persons, and dissemination of proper information of the passengers to their relatives. He said rescue operation has been completed and restoration is underway.

    Mr Vaishnaw also informed that a detailed high-level inquiry will be conducted and the Rail Safety Commissioner will also carry out an independent inquiry into the accident deemed as one of the worst the country has witnessed in the last 15 years. He said that the reason can be ascertained only after completion of the inquiry.

    Meanwhile, Several special and express trains are being cancelled today following the derailment of the Coromandel Express on the Kharagpur – Bhadrak section of South Eastern Railway’s Kharagpur division.

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