Odisha train accident: Following one of the deadliest train mishaps in the country, Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Saturday reached the accident spot and took stock of the ongoing rescue operation. Speaking to reporters at the site, he assured to conduct a detailed high-level inquiry into the incident. "A detailed high-level inquiry will be conducted and the rail safety commissioner will also do an independent inquiry," Vaishnaw added.
The Railways Minister further said as of now the focus is on rescue and relief operations and that restoration will begin after clearance from the district administration.
"Our focus is on rescue and relief operations. Restoration will begin after clearance from the district administration. A detailed high-level inquiry will be conducted and the rail safety commissioner will also do an independent inquiry," he remarked. The minister further said that the cause of the accident will be known after the Commissioner of Railway Safety submits his report.
Odisha CM visits accident site
Later today, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also visited the accident site to review the rescue operation being carried out by a team of NDRF security forces. He also interacted with the Union Railways Minister and took stock of the situation. According to reports, efforts are underway to cut the only bogie left which was severely damaged after the horrific train accident in Odisha's Balasore, state Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena said.
Efforts are on to cut the last bogie of train
Addressing a press conference, Chief Secretary said, "So far around 900 passengers have been injured and are being treated in various hospitals in Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Cuttack districts. A total of 233 dead bodies have been recovered so far. The search and rescue operation is going on." "Only one bogie is left, which is severely damaged. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and Fire Service are still working to cut the bogie and try to recover the living or the dead," he added.
Officials in Bhubaneswar said 200 ambulances, 50 buses and 45 mobile health units were working at the accident site, besides 1,200 personnel. The bodies were being taken to the hospitals in all kinds of vehicles, including tractors.
About the horrific accident
It should be mentioned here that more than 230 people were killed and about 900 injured in a horrific train crash in Odisha, involving the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express and a goods train. The train crash, one of the deadliest in India in the recent times, happened near the Bahanaga Baazar station in Balasore district around 7 pm on Friday (June 2).
Several coaches of the 12864 Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, on the way to Howrah, derailed and fell on the adjacent track. A goods train was also involved in the accident as some of the coaches of the Coromandel Express, which was heading to Chennai, hit its wagons after getting derailed. As rescue operations are underway, gas cutters are also being used to bring out the bodies from under the derailed coaches.
(With inputs from agencies)