Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena on Saturday pegged the number of deaths in the Balasore train derailment at between 55-60 and the number of injured passengers at 600.
Speaking to ANI on the horrific accident, the state chief secretary said, "As per the latest information that we have received at 11.45 pm, 600 people were injured and they have been shifted to hospital. The exact number of casualties is yet to be determined. As of now, the figure we have got is between 55-60 (number of casualties)."
Sharing further details on the relief and rescue operations in the accident, Jena said more than 200 ambulances are at the spot and the administration is trying to make arrangements for food, drinking water, sanitation and medical attention if required to those who survived the accident.
"More than 200 ambulances are involved in rescue operations at the spot. We are also trying to calm the passengers who survived the accident. Arrangements of drinking water, food, sanitation and medical attention if required have been made for them, apart from the immediate rescue and health support services there," he added.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the kin of the deceased in the train derailment in Odisha's Balasore.
According to a statement by the Prime Minister's Office, the ex-gratia amount will be allotted from Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF) to the next of kin of the dead.
The PMO also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 50,000 each for the injured in the horrific accident.
Multiple coaches of the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed near Bahanaga station in Odisha's Balasore after colliding with a goods train. The derailment involved three trains, two of which were passenger trains and another a goods train.
According to Railway spokesperson Amitabh Sharma, the accident took place around 7 pm on Friday.
"Around 7 pm, 10-12 coaches of the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed near Baleswar and fell on the opposite track. After some time, another train from Yeswanthpur to Howrah rammed into the derailed coaches, resulting in the derailment of 3-4 of its coaches," Sharma told ANI. (ANI)