Coromandel Express Accident: Over 300 Dead, Hundreds Injured after Two Passenger Trains Collide with Goods Train in Odisha, India

According to reports, several people are trapped under the derailed coaches, and locals were assisting emergency services personnel to rescue them.

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At least 300 people have been confirmed dead and hundred others have been injured in a major accident on Friday involving two express trains and a goods train in Odisha, India. The accident occurred between two passenger trains Coromandel Express and the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express.

The accident happened around 7 pm IST near Bahanaga Bazar station in Balasore district. The central government has mobilized rescue teams from adjoining provinces, while India's Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has solicited the help of the Air Force in the rescue operations. According to reports, the death toll is expected to surge, while rescue operation continues to be obstructed at night owing to darkness.

Dead and the Wailing

India train accident
Locals and rescue teams seen helping rescue the trapped people inside the coaches Twitter

An official with the Railways reported that several coaches of the 12864 Bengaluru-Howrah train derailed at Bahanaga Baazar in the Balasore district of Odisha, India, and crashed on nearby tracks.

The first train's derailed coaches were struck by the 12841 Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, which was approaching on the nearby tracks, and those train's coaches capsized as well.

According to Pradeep Jena, chief secretary of Odisha, a cargo train was also involved in the incident. According to a railroad official, the Coromandel Express's derailed coaches collided with the cargo train's wagons.

Railway Minister Ashwini announced a compensation of $ 1 million for the dead and $50,000 for the injured. He also announced $50,000 for the surviving family members of the dead. He said that he was en route to the accident scene in Odisha and that he will take all the hands needed for the rescue operations.

"Two of our teams are already on their way from Bhubaneswar and two teams have been mobilized from Kolkata. They are fully equipped to carry out the search and rescue operation," said NDRF DIG Manoj Yadav to news agency PTI.

Jena told the media that NDRF and SDRF teams are on the scene, and 600–700 members of the rescue force have been sent out.

The chief secretary stated that about 50 ambulances have arrived at the accident scene but the number of injured passengers exceeds the capability of the ambulances.

Rescue Operations in Full Swing

India train accident
The scene from inside a coach after the horrific accident Twitter

The office of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) sent their teams to the site of the accident for a search and rescue operation. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed state Disaster Management minister Pramila Mallik and senior officers of the SRC along with fire services to supervise the operation.

According to reports, several people are trapped under the derailed coaches, and locals were assisting emergency services personnel to rescue them.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was distressed by the accident and spoke with Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to take stock of the situation.

An eye-witness said several people were trapped under the derailed coaches, and local residents were assisting emergency services personnel to rescue them, but darkness was hindering the operation.

India's Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that arrangements have been made at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bhubaneswar to provide all possible help to the injured in the accident.

"Along with arrangements for emergency, ICU and OT beds, all doctors, nurses and staff have been instructed to provide all possible help to the people injured in the accident," he tweeted on Friday night.