Odisha's Director General, Fire Services, Sudhanshu Sarangi, on Saturday said more than 120 bodies have been recovered so far from the wreckage of the passenger train coaches that derailed in Balasore on Friday evening, adding that the toll was likely to go up.
Speaking to ANI, Sarangi said, "We have deployed 14 teams at the spot. More than 400 injured people have already been evacuated from the mangled coaches to different hospitals. We have recovered more than 120 bodies so far and the death toll might go up as the ongoing rescue operation progresses."
The DG added that the state government has provided all the resources required to for mobilising emergency rescue and relief and the process of evacuation of the injured passengers has now been completed.
"Now, we're trying to locate bodies that might still be trapped under the mangled compartments. The operations will continue for a few more hours," he added.
Earlier, Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena informed that more than 200 ambulances have been rushed to the scene for shifting the injured to nearby hospitals.
"More than 30 buses have been pressed into service for shifting passengers to their desired destinations and nearby railway stations from where train services are available. As several trains have been cancelled or delayed in areas between Jaleswar and Ganjam, all SPs and Collectors concerned have been instructed to render all possible support to injured passengers and maintain law and order," the chief secretary said.
He added that 3 NDRF, 4 ODRAF and 22 Fire Services personnel have been deployed for the rescue operation.
"The rescue work is continuing on a war footing. Additional medical equipment and drugs at hospitals where victims are being treated are also being taken care of," the chief secretary added.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday took stock of the situation and reviewed the rescue operations at Control Room, SRC, Bhubaneswar.
The CM ordered the provision of free medical treatment to all the injured victims in the BSKY facility hospitals and other private hospitals. Cost of medical expenses shall be borne by the state, he added.
Collectors, SP and officers of the district administrations of Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Kendujhar have also been asked to supervise the rescue operation.
Officials informed further that a large group of blood donors have gathered at District Headquarters Hospital, Bhadrak to donate blood to people injured in the accident.
The Control Room of SRC, Bhubaneswar is operational, officials informed further.
Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena, Development Commissioner-cum-ACS- Anu Garg, Principal Secretary, I&PR Department Sanjay Kumar Singh, MD, OSDMA Gyan Das are present in the Control room of SRC to monitor the rescue operation.
Several coaches of the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed near Bahanaga station in Odisha's Balasore after hitting a goods train.
According to Railway Spokesperson Amitabh Sharma, the accident took place at 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 dashed into those derailed coaches resulting in the derailment of its 3-4 coaches," Sharma told ANI. (ANI)