National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) DIG Manoj Kumar Yadav on Friday said search operations were underway inside the derailed passenger train coaches in Odisha's Balasore and the primary focus was on mobilising emergency rescue and relief.
Sharing details about the ongoing relief and rescue operation in the aftermath of the horrific accident involving two passenger trains and a good carriage, the NDRF DIG told ANI, "The search operation inside the coaches is already underway. We haven't yet determined the number of deaths in the accident as the focus right now is on response. We're trying to save as many lives as possible and we will try our best with the resources at our disposal. We're also in constant touch with the state government and the Railway Protection Force (RPF) as part of the rescue operation."
Yadav added that a sufficient number of personnel have been mobilised from Bhubaneswar and Kolkata in a bid to ensure a smooth conduct of the rescue operation.
"There are difficulties and obstacles to the ongoing rescue operation. Such was the impact of the collision that the coaches piled up on top of each other after the derailment. Hence, through careful assessment and analysis, we're carrying out the rescue operation. The passengers deemed to be in a critical condition are being attended to on priority and the injured are being rushed to nearby hospitals," the NDRF DIG said.
Earlier, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said saving the lives of the injured passengers was the top priority of the state government.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the kin of the deceased in the train derailment and Rs 50,000 each to the injured.
About 50 ambulances were mobilised to the accident site. Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) and his team were at the spot, directing the movement of ambulances and the administration of first-aid to the injured.
"As many as 50 doctors have been mobilised from other districts to the spot. A team of doctors was dispatched from SCB MCH. Private hospitals in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are also prepared to receive patients," said the Odisha health secretary. (ANI)