The toll in the Friday evening train accident at Bahanaga Bazar railway station of Odisha’s Balasore district rose sharply to 288 on Saturday, while 1,091 injured persons have been provided medical assistance. Of the injured, 56 were stated to be grievously wounded.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik visited the spot to take stock of the accident — dubbed as one of the most tragic accidents in the country.
A preliminary investigation by a team of railway officials has revealed that signal was given and then taken off for Coromandel Express which entered the Loop Line and collided with the goods train.
Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express (12841) took a wrong track instead of the main line at the Bahanaga Bazaar station in Balasore district of Odisha and crashed into a goods train stationed there. Coromandel Express was going at full speed as it was not supposed to stop at the station. In the impact, 21 coaches derailed and three of them jumped onto an adjacent track, through which the Yeshwantpur-Howrah Express (12864) was travelling at the same time. The two rearmost coaches of the Yeshwantpur-Howrah Express also derailed.
The Odisha government has issued the helpline 06782-262286. The railway helplines are 033-26382217 (Howrah), 8972073925 (Kharagpur), 8249591559 (Balasore) and 044- 25330952 (Chennai).
Southern Railway has set up a round-the-clock helpline and control office at Chennai. A press release said, commuters and relatives could contact the helpline and control office at 044-25330952, 044-25330953, and 044-25354771.
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