Foreign Minister of Maldives, Abdulla Shahid and Singapore's High Commissioner Simon Wong expressed grief over the horrific train tragedy in Odisha on Friday.
According to official sources, over 50 passengers are feared dead in the derailment incident involving two passenger trains and a goods carriage, and nearly 600 passengers have sustained injuries.
The toll is likely to rise as the rescue operation progresses, said officials.
Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid took to his Twitter to console the loss of lives in the accident. "Deeply saddened to hear the news of the tragic train accident in Odisha, #India, leading to loss of lives and injuries to many. My heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and praying for a speedy recovery to the injured," he said in a tweet.
Singapore's High Commissioner Simon Wong, too, expressed his grief over the loss of lives, tweeting, "Deeply shocked and saddened by the train tragedy in Balasore, Odisha. Our thoughts are with the families of the bereaved and injured."
Earlier, on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of 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.
PM Modi also expressed grief over the incident in which several coaches of two passenger trains derailed after colliding with a goods train.
Taking stock of the situation in Balasore, Prime Minister Modi informed that rescue operations were underway at the site of the accident and all possible assistance was being provided to the injured.
After the horrific collision and the subsequent derailment of coaches in Odisha's Balasore district, in which several passengers are feared dead and over 132 injured, an additional rescue team from Odisha Fire and Emergency Service, comprising 26 members with advance rescue equipment from Odisha Fire and Disaster Response Academy in Bhubaneswar rushed to the spot to mobilise emergency rescue measures, the Odisha government stated in a release.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also expressed grief over the accident.
Multiple coaches of the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed near Bahanaga station in Odisha's Balasore after colliding with a goods train.
"There are casualties but the toll is yet to be determined. The derailment involved three trains, two of which were passenger trains and another a goods train," Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena said.
The injured were shifted to Soro CHC, Gopalpur CHC, and Khantapada PHC, the chief secretary informed further.
According to Railway spokesperson Amitabh Sharma, the accident took place around 7 pm on Friday.
"At 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.
A team of responders from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), numbering 22 members, reached the accident spot from Balasore Railway Station. Another team from Centralised Traffic Control (CTC), comprising 32 members, had set off for the spot half an hour before, said officials.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed the state minister Pramila Mallik and the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) to reach the accident spot immediately. The minister and SRC left for the scene almost immediately.
The state chief secretary added that a large number of buses were dispatched to the accident spot in Balasore to help in the relief and rescue operations.
"Nearly 50 ambulances were also rushed to the spot but the number of injured appear to be far too many," he said. (ANI)