Odisha train tragedy: Death toll nears 300, army called in for rescue


The death toll from the tragic train accident in the Indian state of Odisha rose to 280 and more casualties are feared as many remain trapped in the wreckage, India Today reported on Saturday.

As per initial reports, the deadly train crash took place on Friday when the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed and was subsequently hit by the Howrah Superfast Express on an adjacent track. Over 900 people injured are reported injured in the accident.

However, India’s local publications report that a third train, said to be a cargo train was also involved in what is said to be the deadliest rail accident in the country in recent times.

The Indian authorities have called the army in to support the rescue operation led — in collaboration — by the country’s National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), fire department and other rescue teams.

Scores of ambulances and health teams are working to pull out the bodies and shift the injured to medical facilities.

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

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.