Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday expressed his condolences towards the victims of the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express derailment.
"Distressed by the train accident in Odisha. In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon. Spoke to Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and took stock of the situation. Rescue ops are underway at the site of the mishap and all possible assistance is being given to those affected," the PM tweeted.
At least 47 people were injured and several were feared dead as four coaches of the Coromandel Express derailed in Odisha's Balasore district on Friday evening, following which it collided head-on with a goods train coming from the opposite direction on the other line, officials said.
The accident happened around 7.20 pm near Bahanaga Bazar station when the train was on the way to Chennai Central station from Shalimar station near Kolkata, they said.
Odisha's Special Relief Commissioner Satyabrata Sahoo said 47 people have so far been admitted to the Balasore Medical College and Hospital. A PTI reporter at the spot said several people were trapped under the derailed coaches, and locals were assisting emergency services personnel to rescue them, but darkness was hindering the operation.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed Sahoo and Revenue Minister Pramila Malik to rush to the accident site, officials said. Accident relief trains have been dispatched to the spot, a South Eastern Railway official said.
Four units of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), three units of NDRF and 60 ambulances were working to rescue the injured, officials said.
The Odisha government has issued helpline number 06782-262286. The railway helplines are 033-26382217 (Howrah), 8972073925 (Kharagpur), 8249591559 (Balasore) and 044- 25330952 (Chennai).