Coromandel, Bengaluru-Howrah Express trains derail: 50 dead, 350 injured

The Odisha government has issued helpline 06782-262286. The railway helplines are 033-26382217 (Howrah), 8972073925 (Kharagpur), 8249591559 (Balasore) and 044- 25330952 (Chennai)

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  2 Jun 2023 5:13 PM GMT
Coromandel, Bengaluru-Howrah Express trains derail: 50 dead, 179 injured.

Balasore/Howrah: At least 350 people were injured and around 50 others were feared dead as several coaches of the Coromandel Express derailed in Odisha's Balasore district on Friday evening, following which it collided head-on with another train on the other line, officials said.

The accident happened around 7.20 pm near Bahanaga Bazar station when the Coromandel Express was on the way to Chennai Central station from Shalimar station near Kolkata, they said.

Several coaches of the 12864 Bengaluru-Howrah train travelling to Howrah derailed at Bahanagabazar and fell on adjacent tracks. "These derailed coaches collided with 12841 Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express and its coaches capsized too," a senior official said.

A goods train was also involved in the accident as the coaches of the Coromandel Express hit its wagons after getting derailed, the official said.

Odisha's Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena said 132 injured persons were admitted to Soro, Gopalpur and Khantapada health centres, while 47 people were admitted to the Balasore Medical College and Hospital.

Balasore district officials said that around 50 people are feared dead in the accident.

Several people were trapped under the derailed coaches, and locals were assisting emergency services personnel to rescue them, but darkness was hindering the operation.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed Special Relief Secretary Satyabrata 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 06782-262286. The railway helplines are 033-26382217 (Howrah), 8972073925 (Kharagpur), 8249591559 (Balasore) and 044- 25330952 (Chennai).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was distressed by the accident, and spoke with Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to take stock of the situation.

"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 @AshwiniVaishnaw 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," he tweeted.

West Bengal Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi said the state was sending a team led by minister Manas Bhunia and MP Dola Sen to the spot.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she was personally monitoring the situation along with the chief secretary and other officials.

"We are coordinating with Odisha government and South Eastern Railways for our people's sake. Our emergency control room has been activated at once with numbers 033- 22143526/ 22535185. All out efforts for rescue, retrieval, aid and assistance initiated," she tweeted.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Friday spoke to his Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik following the accident of the Coromandel Express train, and announced that he was deputing a four-member panel to coordinate the rescue of Tamils on the train.

Expressing shock over the accident, Stalin tweeted that he spoke to Patnaik and said the details shared by the latter about the accident were "worrying".The chief minister also condoled the lives lost in the incident.

"I have asked Transport Minister S S Sivasankar and 3 IAS officials to rush to Odisha to rescue the Tamils involved in the accident. Have directed setting up a helpline," he added.

Inputs from PTI

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