Deadly Train Crash in India's Odisha State Leaves at Least 261 Dead and 1,000 Injured
Massive Rescue Operation Underway as Officials Investigate the Cause
A tragic train collision in Odisha state, eastern India, has resulted in the death of at least 261 people and left approximately 1,000 injured, according to officials. The incident, which occurred on Friday, involved three trains and is considered the worst train crash in India this century. Rescue operations were immediately launched, involving hundreds of emergency personnel who worked tirelessly to search the wreckage for survivors.
The crash unfolded when a passenger train derailed onto an adjacent track and was subsequently struck by an incoming train. The collision also involved a nearby stationary freight train. The Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express was the first train to derail, with several of its coaches ending up on the opposite track. The Howrah Superfast Express, traveling from Yesvantpur to Howrah, then collided with the overturned carriages.
"The force with which the trains collided has resulted in several coaches being crushed and mangled," stated Atul Karwal, Chief of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), during an interview with news agency ANI. This devastating incident ranks as the third deadliest crash in the history of Indian railways, according to Karwal.
The state authorities swiftly mobilized resources, dispatching more than 200 ambulances, along with hundreds of doctors, nurses, and rescue personnel to the scene. The extent of injuries sustained by those taken to local hospitals remains unclear at this time.
Initially, Sudhanshu Sarangi, Director General of Odisha Fire Services, reported that 288 people had lost their lives. However, the latest official figures confirm at least 261 fatalities. The rescue operation has now concluded, and efforts to restore the crash site have commenced, as announced by India's South Eastern Railway company.
As the investigation into the cause of the tragic collision begins, questions arise regarding the circumstances leading up to the derailment and subsequent collisions. Authorities will closely examine various factors, including track conditions, signaling systems, and potential human error, to determine the cause of this catastrophic incident.
This devastating train crash in Odisha serves as a tragic reminder of the critical importance of ensuring the safety and security of rail transport systems. As India mourns the loss of hundreds of lives, the nation's focus now turns towards healing the wounds of the injured and providing support to the affected families during this difficult time.