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Odisha train accident: US President Joe Biden condoles tragic rail crash, says he is ‘heartbroken’

The toll in the disastrous railway accident in Odisha has risen to 275 and rescue operations at the site have been completed. The rstoration work is underway with '1000+ manpower' working at crash site.

Arushi Jaiswal Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal Washington Updated on: June 04, 2023 13:37 IST
Odisha train accident, Joe Biden
Image Source : AP Odisha train accident: US President Joe Biden condoles tragic rail crash

Odisha train accident: US President Joe Biden said he is heartbroken by the tragic news of a train crash in India, which claimed the lives of 275 passengers and left over 1,000 injured. The crash in Odisha's Balasore district involving three trains is one of the worst rail accidents in India in nearly three decades. 

‘Heartbroken by the tragic news’

"(First Lady Dr) Jill (Biden) and I are heartbroken by the tragic news of the deadly train crash in India. Our prayers go out to those who have lost loved ones and the many who suffered injuries in this terrible incident," Biden said in a statement. "The United States and India share deep bonds rooted in the ties of family and culture that reunite our two nations - and people all across America mourn alongside the people of India. As the recovery effort continues, we will hold the people of India in our thoughts," the statement added.

As many as 1,175 people were admitted at various hospitals, including private ones, out of which 793 have been released and 382 were undergoing treatment, Odisha government officials said at around 8 PM Saturday. All except two patients are stable, they said.

The crash involving Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express and Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, which were carrying around 2,500 passengers, and a goods train occurred around 7 PM on Friday near the Bahanaga Bazar station in Balasore, about 250 km south of Kolkata and 170 km north of Bhubaneswar.

Twenty-one coaches were derailed and severely damaged in the accident, trapping hundreds of passengers. Both passenger trains were at a high speed and it has been cited by experts as one of the main reasons for the high number of casualties.

Restoration work underway

Meanwhile, the Railways Ministry has informed that the restoration work is ongoing at war footing in Odisha's Balasore. In a tweet, the Ministry of Railways said that the officials are closely monitoring the restoration process at the accident site.

"Restoration work is ongoing at Warfooting at the train accident site in Balasore, Odisha with 1000 Manpower working tirelessly. At present, more than 7 Poclain Machines, 2 Accident Relief Trains, and 3-4 Railway and Road Cranes have been deployed for early restoration. Officials are closely monitoring the restoration process at the accident site," read the post on the official Twitter handle of the Railways ministry.

Earlier, on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached the accident spot, accompanied by Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

"It's a painful incident. We might not bring back the lives lost but we are with the families of the victims at this hour of grief. The government has taken very serious note of the incident and will leave no stone unturned in treating the injured passengers. An investigation has been ordered and those found guilty will not be spared," PM Modi said.

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