Odisha train crash death toll nears 300, more casualties feared

Indian authorities call army in to assist ongoing rescue operation; one-day mourning declared in view of deadly rail accident

By Web Desk
June 03, 2023
Overturned coaches of the crashed trains lie near the tracks with rescue workers standing nearby on May 2, 2023. — AFP

The number of casualties from the horrific train crash in the eastern Odisha state of India swelled to 280, with more feared dead as the rescue efforts continue on the second day, India Today reported.

The Indian authorities have called the army in to assist with the ongoing rescue operation, while a one-day mourning has also been declared in view of the deadly rail accident that left over 900 people injured on Friday.


As per initial reports, the tragedy took place when Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express derailed and collided with the Bengaluru Howrah Superfast Express on an adjacent track. But a third, a goods train was also reportedly involved in the crash.

As per the publication, the authorities fear a further rise in the death toll as many passengers remain trapped in the overturned coaches of Yashwantpur Express.

The country's National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), fire department and other rescue teams are leading the rescue operation, with scores of ambulances and health teams working to pull out the bodies and shifting the injured to medical facilities.

Several surviving passengers were also witnessed jumping in to assist in saving those who were huddled inside the crashed trains.

"The situation is under control. The search and rescue operations are being carried out," the publication cited Odisha Health Minister Niranjan Pujari as saying.

Train crashes are unfortunately not uncommon in India, with hundreds of incidents occurring each year, but this was one of the deadliest in recent times.

The country's Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw has ordered a high-level probe into the derailment. Meanwhile, one-day state mourning in view of the horrific train crash has been declared. With the hospitals put on high alert, additional doctors have also been mobilised.

Train crashes are unfortunately not uncommon in India, with hundreds of incidents occurring each year. The government has made significant investments and technological upgrades to improve railway safety, resulting in a reduction in such accidents in recent years.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his distress over the incident and extended his condolences to the families affected. He has spoken to the railways' minister to stay updated on the situation and ensure all necessary measures are taken.

Home Minister Amit Shah and other government officials have also expressed deep anguish at the tragedy.

As the rescue efforts continue, the focus remains on saving lives and providing medical care to the injured. The authorities are coordinating their efforts to ensure the timely and efficient handling of the situation.