Oddisa Express Train Accident
In one of the deadliest train accidents in India, a collision involving two express passenger trains and a goods train in the eastern state of Odisha resulted in the tragic loss of at least 270 lives and left 900 individuals injured.
Pradeep Kumar Jena, Odisha’s chief secretary, confirmed the recovery of 270 bodies and stated that rescue and relief efforts were ongoing. The injured were receiving medical treatment in healthcare centers across five districts. Rescue workers had to cut open train carriages to rescue survivors and retrieve bodies, with one severely damaged carriage still requiring attention.
The bodies of the victims were being identified and released to their relatives. Television footage showed the rescue operations, with upturned and mangled train carriages being attended to by the workers. Around 100 ambulances were dispatched initially, followed by buses when the ambulances became insufficient to transport the injured. Local residents also donated blood for the victims.
The accident occurred at approximately 7 pm on Friday when a dozen coaches of the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed, reportedly due to an entanglement with another passenger train near Bahanaga railway station in the Balasore district, while a goods train was also present on adjacent tracks. Over 40 trains were canceled, and 30 were diverted as a result of the accident.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences and assured assistance, with an inquiry committee established to determine the cause of the accident.
Compensation was announced for the families of the deceased and those with injuries. Although efforts have been made to enhance safety standards and reduce accidents in India’s extensive railway network, incidents like these highlight the need for ongoing improvements.
According to Indian authorities, the tragic collision occurred when one passenger train crashed into the coaches of another passenger train that had already derailed and ended up on the opposite track.
As a result, both trains derailed.
“The unfortunate accident took place near Bahanaga railway station in Balasore district, involving the Coromandel Express, a goods train, and another passenger train,” stated Jena.
“At around 7 p.m., the 12841 Coromandel Express, which operates between Shalimar and Chennai, experienced the derailment of approximately 10 to 12 of its coaches near Balasore. These coaches were flung onto the opposite track. After some time, another train traveling between Yesvantpur and Howrah collided with the derailed coaches, leading to the derailment of three to four of its own coaches,” explained Railway Spokesperson Amitabh Sharma during a press briefing.
The Coromandel Express follows a route along India’s east coast, connecting Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, to the South Indian city of Chennai.
On Saturday, Chief Minister M K Stalin announced that the Tamil Nadu government would observe a one-day mourning period to honor the victims of the train accident in Odisha.
As a result, all government programs, events, and the public gathering planned for the centenary birth anniversary celebration of former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, which were scheduled for that day, were canceled.
Stalin addressed reporters at the state emergency operation center in Ezhilagam, stating that the state government was closely collaborating with the Odisha government in the rescue operation. He also mentioned that a “special train has been arranged for those who were affected by the accident and unable to return to Chennai.” In coordination with the rescue efforts, Sports Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin, Transport Minister S S Sivasankar, and senior officials from the state government have hurriedly traveled to Odisha.