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Odisha train tragedy toll reaches 244, Naveen announces state mourning

IndiaOdisha train tragedy toll reaches 244, Naveen announces state mourning

The train accident in Bahanaga, Odisha’s Balasore district, resulted in a tragic loss of life

The train accident in Bahanaga, Odisha’s Balasore district, resulted in a tragic loss of life, with the death toll reaching 244 on Saturday. This incident stands as one of the deadliest train accidents in India.

According to Odisha Chief Secretary P K Jena’s tweet, the toll from Friday’s horrific accident was reported as 233, with approximately 900 people injured. However, Balasore Collector D B Shinde stated that 244 bodies have been recovered from the accident site, which is located about 200 kilometers away from the state capital.

On Saturday morning, Railway Minister Aswani Vaishnaw arrived at the scene in Bahanaga station to assess the situation alongside senior railway officials, NDRF, and ODRAF teams. Railway Board Chairman Anil Kumar Lahoti was also present. The Railway Minister has already initiated a high-level inquiry into the accident.

The most recent report indicates that over 900 passengers have been rescued and admitted to various hospitals.

The casualty count is expected to rise since one general bogie remains partially buried at the accident site, and efforts are underway to recover bodies from it, according to sources.

The bodies extracted from the coaches have been temporarily placed in two schools in Bahanaga. They will later be transported to local hospitals for post-mortem examinations.

Meanwhile, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik declared a state mourning day, canceling all state celebrations.

Patnaik, along with Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, is scheduled to visit the accident site on Saturday morning.

An aerial survey of the accident site was conducted early in the morning by a technical team from the Railway.

The Chief Secretary stated that three trains were involved in the accident: the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express, Yeshawantpur-Howrah Express, and a goods train.

During the mishap, 15 coaches and one engine derailed or overturned around 7 PM. According to sources, after colliding with a goods train, ten coaches of the Chennai-bound Coromandel Express overturned, while another coach and the engine derailed and fell onto the opposite track. Subsequently, the Yeshwanthpur-Howrah Express bound for Howrah collided with the derailed coaches. As a result, two GS coaches and two bogies of that train also derailed and overturned.

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