Over 280 killed, 900 injured in India's deadly train accident
More than 280 people were killed and 900 others injured in a major accident Friday evening involving three trains in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, officials said on Saturday.
The accident occurred around 7:20pm local time near Bahanaga Bazar station in Balasore district, about 171 km northeast of Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha.
According to officials, the Coromandel Express, which runs from Kolkata to Chennai, hit the Yashwantpur-Howrah Express, which derailed and toppled onto the adjacent track. A cargo train was also said to be involved in the accident.
Officials said the impact of the collision was so severe that compartments of the two trains climbed atop each other causing deaths and injuries to passengers. A large number of passengers were trapped inside the derailed coaches.
Immediately after the accident, rescue teams, health officials, police, fire services and disaster response force personnel were rushed to the spot. A large crowd of locals also reached the spot to help the injured.
All the health facilities in the vicinity were put on alert and the injured were admitted to the hospital throughout the night.
The rescuers have pressed in machinery besides specialized tools like cutters to pull out survivors from the mangled coaches.
Survivors told media they saw body parts scattered everywhere at the accident site.
"When I got out of the train, I saw limbs scattered all around; a leg here, a hand there. Someone's face was disfigured," a survivor told the media.
Reports said at least 51 trains were diverted, canceled or terminated after the accident.
Indian President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have expressed grief over the loss of lives in the accident and condolences are pouring in from various quarters.
Modi said he was distressed by the accident and has spoken with federal railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to take stock of the situation.
Vaishnaw on Friday night said he was heading to the accident site and announced monetary compensation to the victims.
Reports suggest it is so far the worst train crash in India's recent history.
The cause of the accident was not immediately known. However, a probe has been ordered into the derailment.