Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw personally visited the site of the tragic train accident in Odisha’s Balasore, where approximately 288 people lost their lives and around 900 were injured. The incident involved the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, and a goods train. Minister Vaishnaw emphasized that the primary focus is on conducting rescue and relief operations. In regard to the accident investigation, a railway spokesperson stated, “A.M. Chowdhary, Commissioner of Railway Safety, South East Circle, will inquire into the accident.” The exact cause of the accident will be determined upon submission of the Commissioner’s report.
The railway minister expressed deep sorrow over the tragic event and assured that all necessary healthcare facilities and compensation would be provided. Rescuers, equipped with gas torches and electric cutters, worked tirelessly throughout the night to extricate survivors and retrieve the deceased from the twisted wreckage of the three trains. In Bhubaneswar, it was reported that 200 ambulances, 50 buses, 45 mobile health units, and 1,200 personnel were deployed at the accident site. The bodies of the victims were transported to hospitals using various means of transportation, including tractors. The train collision, ranked as the fourth deadliest in India based on available records, occurred near the Bahanaga Baazar station in Balasore district. The Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express derailed and collided with the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, causing both trains to overturn. Additionally, a goods train was involved as some coaches of the Coromandel Express hit its wagons after derailing.