India train crash: More than 280 dead after Odisha accident

At least 280 people have been killed and 1,000 are injured in a crash involving three trains in India's eastern Odisha state, one of the worst rail accidents in the country’s history.

India Traina Crash

The crash in the city of Balasore, in eastern Odisha state, has reverberated across India, one passenger train derailed onto the adjacent track and was struck by an incoming train on Friday, also hitting a nearby stationary freight train.

A massive recovery operation is underway after hundreds of emergency workers searched the wreckage.

Officials say several carriages from the Coromandel Express, traveling between Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) and Chennai (formerly Madras), derailed at about 19:00 (13:30 GMT) in Balasore district after hitting a stationary good train. Several of its coaches ended up on the opposite track.

Another train traveling in the opposite direction the Howrah Superfast Express traveling from Yesvantpur to Howrah then hit the overturned carriages.


"The force with which the trains collided has resulted in several coaches being crushed and mangled," Atul Karwal, chief of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) told ANI news agency.

More than 200 ambulances and hundreds of doctors, nurses, and rescue personnel were sent to the scene, the state's chief secretary Pradeep Jena said.

Sudhanshu Sarangi, director general of Odisha Fire Services, had earlier said 288 had died.

All trapped and injured passengers have been rescued. It is not clear how serious the injuries of those taken to hospitals were.

Work to restore the site of the crash has begun, India's South Eastern Railway company said on Saturday.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the site of the accident on Saturday afternoon, joining Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw at the scene.

An investigation into the cause of the crash has been launched, although Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has blamed "technical reasons".

Survivors and eyewitnesses have described chaotic scenes and the heroic efforts of people from nearby villages to save trapped passengers.


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