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Odisha train mishap: Rescue ops to be completed by evening, says NDRF

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New Delhi | June 3, 2023 1:40:25 PM IST
The Inspector General of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Narendra Singh Bundela on Saturday said that the rescue operation in the Odisha train mishap is still continuing, adding that it will be completed by evening.

Speaking to ANI, the IG Operation of NDRF said, "The operation is still continuing. So far, the state government has announced 238 dead and more than 900 injured. Hopefully, by today evening, we should be able to close the operation".

"NDRF has nine teams there - seven from Odisha and two from West Bengal. Almost all the live victims have been sent to hospital so nine teams are sufficient," he added.

However, the Executive Director of Information Publication Railway Board Amitabh Sharma said, "The rescue operation has been completed, now we are starting the restoration work. 238 people have died and more than 600 are injured. Kawach was not available on this route," while speaking to ANI.

Meanwhile, IG Operation said that the exact sequence of events will be known only after the inquiry.

"17 coaches were derailed and are severely damaged. 9 teams are there on the spot. The sequence of events will be known after inquiry," Bundela said.

Several coaches of the 12864 Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, on the way to Howrah, derailed and fell on adjacent tracks. The 12841 Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express coming from the opposite direction on the parallel track rammed into the derailed coaches.

Meanwhile, according to a preliminary report released on Saturday by the State Emergency Operation Centre of Odisha's Special Relief Commissioner in Bhubaneswar, the accident took place at around 7 am at Bahanaga Bazar Station in Odisha's Balasore district.

The three-way accident involved the Bengaluru-Howrah superfast express, the Coromandel Express and the goods train on three separate tracks at Bahanaga Bazar Station, Balasore district.

The report said 17 coaches of these two trains have been de-railed and severely damaged.

A total of 238 people were killed and over 900 injured in the incident.

All injured and trapped passengers have been rescued, the report stated.

Seven NDRF teams, 5 ODRAF units and 24 Fire Services and Emergency Units are engaged in rescue operations.

Over 100 medical teams with paramedical staff along with medicines have been mobilized to the accident site for medical treatment, the statement said.

Over 200 ambulances moved the injured to hospitals in Soro, Balasore, Bhadrak and Cuttack.

30 buses have been engaged for moving stranded passengers. The Odisha government is providing free transport facilities for stranded passengers of Odisha and West Bengal to their destinations.

Free medical treatments are being provided to injured persons at government and private hospitals in the State.

Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw reached the site of the accident and reviewed the situation.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also visited the accident site today and took stock of the situation. On June 2 evening, he reviewed the situation with the Chief Secretary, Development Commissioner, 5T Secretary, Secretary Transport and Secretary I &PR and other Senior Officers in the office of Special Relief Commissioner, Rajiv Bhawan in Bhubaneswar.

Odisha Chief Secretary also discussed with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, through virtual mode on the situation, according to the Office of the Special Relief Commissioner, Odisha.

Odisha and Tamil Nadu have declared a day of mourning for today.

The South Eastern Railway has cancelled 33 trains and diverted 36 trains to other routes. (ANI)

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