India’s worst train disaster

In India’s eastern state of Odisha, a tragic incident occurred as three trains collided, resulting in the country’s deadliest railway disaster in two decades, claiming the lives of at least 288 individuals. The devastating crash, which took place in Balasore district, left nearly 900 people injured, prompting an investigation into its cause. The extensive rescue efforts involved a large-scale operation, comprising hundreds of firefighters, police officers, sniffer dogs, and army personnel.

National Disaster Response Force teams also played a crucial role in the rescue mission. Throughout the night at the accident site, 1,200 rescuers worked diligently with 115 ambulances, 50 buses, and 45 mobile health units.

The collision occurred approximately 200 kilometers (125 miles) away from the state capital, Bhubaneswar, on Friday night, leading to chaotic scenes as responders scaled the damaged trains, utilizing cutting torches to extricate survivors by breaking open doors and windows.

Sudhanshu Sarangi, the director of Odisha’s fire department, expressed the grim reality that any individuals still trapped underneath were unlikely to have survived. By Friday evening, the rescue team successfully saved the survivors, but the focus shifted to recovering the deceased.

This tragic incident unfolded when ten to twelve coaches of one train derailed, causing debris to fall onto a nearby track. Regrettably, another passenger train approaching from the opposite direction collided with the debris, resulting in the derailment of up to three coaches from the second train.

 Although there were reports of involvement from a third train carrying freight, official confirmation from railway authorities was still pending. Press Trust of India reported that some derailed passenger coaches collided with cars from the freight train. The area near the train tracks was filled with dozens of bodies, covered in white sheets, as local residents and rescuers rushed to aid survivors.

 Furthermore, numerous individuals visited a local hospital to donate blood, while Odisha declared Saturday as a day of mourning. The state’s chief minister, Naveen Patnaik, personally visited the district to meet with the injured passengers, expressing condolences and solidarity.


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