Condolences pour in from global leaders on Odisha rail disaster

Leaders from U.S., Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Japan, the EU, the U.K., France, Germany, and Russia and the Dalai Lama, expressed their condolences in messages to the PM, President and Odisha CM, and on social media

June 03, 2023 10:33 pm | Updated June 04, 2023 07:46 am IST - NEW DELHI

Coromandal express train engine is seen atop the goods train wagon at Bahanaga station in Balasore district of Odisha.

Coromandal express train engine is seen atop the goods train wagon at Bahanaga station in Balasore district of Odisha. | Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout

A number of global leaders — including the U.S. President, the Chinese President and Premier, the President of France, and the Prime Ministers of Japan and the United Kingdom — have expressed their condolences regarding the rail accident in Odisha that has left more than 280 people dead. In a message on social media, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also expressed their condolences.

U.S. President Joe Biden on Saturday said he is heartbroken by the tragic news of a train crash in India.

The crash in Odisha’s Balasore district involving three trains is one of the worst rail accidents in India in nearly three decades. At least 288 people are dead and over 1,100 injured.

“[First Lady Dr] Jill [Biden] and I are heartbroken by the tragic news of the deadly train crash in India. Our prayers go out to those who have lost loved ones and the many who suffered injuries in this terrible incident,” Mr. Biden said in a statement.

“The United States and India share deep bonds rooted in the ties of family and culture that unite our two nations — and people all across America mourn alongside the people of India. As the recovery effort continues, we will hold the people of India in our thoughts,” Mr. Biden said.

“I am deeply saddened by the train accident in India with hundreds of dead and injured. My thoughts are with the victims, the injured and their families. Germany stands by India in this difficult time,” said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Russian ambassador Denis Alipov expressed his “deepest condolences” to the families of the victims of the tragic accident.

Track Odisha train accident live updates here

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif sent a message extending his “heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families who lost their loved ones in this tragedy.” Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also conveyed his condolences, saying, “Saddened to learn of the high death toll in the tragic train accident in Odisha, India. The Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina has also expressed her sorrow at the incident which killed at least 288 people.

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent separate condolence messages to President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the official Xinhua news agency said. Mr. Xi said he was “shocked to learn of the accident” and “on behalf of the Chinese government and people, expressed deep condolences over the victims, offered sincere sympathies to the bereaved families and the injured, and wished the injured a speedy recovery.” Chinese Premier Li Qiang also sent a message of condolence to Mr. Modi.

Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama has written a letter to the Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik and offered his condolences, saying, “I very much appreciate that the State Government and other agencies, including those of the Central Government, are doing their utmost to provide medical treatment and support to the injured and other people affected by this tragic accident.”

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“I am deeply saddened by the news of the loss of many precious lives and the injuries in the train accident in the State of Odisha. On behalf of the Government of Japan and the people, I would like to express our heartfelt condolences to those who lost their lives and their bereaved families. I also pray for the speedy recovery of those who were injured,” said Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expressed his condolences to Mr. Modi, expressing his “heartfelt support and admiration to the survivors and those working tirelessly to respond”. In his message to the PM and the President, French President Emmanuel Macron said, “France stands in solidarity with you. My thoughts are with the families of the victims”.

“Terrible news from India. I express my deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the Odisha train accident and wish a speedy recovery to the injured. The people of India are in our thoughts in this time of sorrow,” said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Union.

Expressing gratitude to world leaders for their outpouring of sympathy and support for the kin of victims of the Odisha triple train tragedy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appreciated their “kind words” in their condolence messages.

(With agency inputs)

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