Balasore: In a devastating train accident that occurred in Odisha, over 200 lives were lost and more than 900 passengers were injured. The accident involved two express trains, the Bengaluru-Howrah Express and the Shalimar-Chennai Coromondel Express, as well as a goods train at the Bahanaga Bazar Station in Balasore district. The incident has left the nation in shock and mourning.
Hours after the mishap, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his deep concern and he is scheduled to visit the accident site. According to sources, PM Modi is scheduled to arrive in the Balasore district at around 2:30 pm today. His visit will be followed by a meeting with the victims who were injured in the tragic accident at the SCB Hospital in Cuttack.
The railway minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw, and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik were among the first officials to reach the spot in the early morning hours. They assessed the situation and took stock of the rescue and relief operations. Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who was in Kolkata at the time, cut short his visit and rushed to Balasore to meet the victims.
The gravity of the situation has drawn attention from across the country, with three Tamil Nadu ministers also heading to Balasore to review the situation.
The South Eastern Railway issued a bulletin stating that the Coromandel Express and the Sir M Visvesvaraya-Howrah Superfast Express derailed near the Bahanaga Bazar Railway station at around 6:55 p.m. on June 2. It confirmed a staggering death toll of 238 and reported that approximately 650 injured passengers had been admitted to hospitals in Gopalpur, Khantapara, Balasore, Bhadrak, and Soro.
The railway authorities have taken swift action to manage the situation. Accident relief trains equipped with medical facilities, doctors, and paramedics have been dispatched from Kharagpur and Bhadrak to the site. Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, who arrived at the scene, is supervising the rescue operation.
In his statement to the media at the accident site, Vaishnaw emphasized the priority placed on rescue and relief operations. Once the clearance from the district administration is obtained, the restoration process will commence. He further assured the public that a detailed high-level inquiry would be conducted to determine the cause of the accident. Additionally, an independent inquiry by the rail safety commissioner will take place.
According to the railways, the Coromandel Express was traveling towards Chennai, while the Sir M Visvesvaraya-Howrah Superfast Express was en route to Howrah with approximately 1,000 passengers at the time of the accident.
The tragic train accident in Odisha has shaken the nation, and the government is working tirelessly to provide immediate relief to the victims and their families.
As the rescue operation continues, the focus remains on saving lives and attending to the injured. The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of prioritizing rail safety measures to prevent such tragedies in the future.