Balasore railway tragedy toll rises to 288

Satyasundar Barik

All types of investigations have been ordered, whoever is found guilty will be punished, says Modi after visiting the accident site ; Odisha observes Saturday as a day of mourning for the lives lost even as the massive disaster response team worked well into the day to retrieve bodies from the wreckage; 1,091 injured persons get treatment

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Sunday, 4th June 2023
Page No. 5
Chennai Print Edition

The death toll in the Friday evening train accident at Bahanaga Bazaar railway station of Odisha’s Balasore district rose sharply to 288 on Saturday, while 1,091 injured persons have been provided medical assistance. Fifty-six of those in hospital have been grievously injured.

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 of the accident, one of the worst railway disasters to take place in the country.

“I took stock of the situation at the site of the tragedy in Odisha. Words can’t capture my deep sorrow. We stand committed to providing all possible assistance to those affected. I laud all those working round the clock, on the ground and helping out in relief work,” Mr. Modi tweeted after his visit to the accident site.

“All types of investigations have been ordered into the incident. Whoever found guilty will be given stringent punishment and will not be spared,” he announced.

Mr. Modi appreciated the Odisha government and its officials for extending all assistance to the accident victims.

While at the accident site, Ms. Banerjee — in the presence of Mr. Vaishnaw — remarked that an anti-collision device could have prevented the accident, but the Balasore route did not have one. “There was something (error) behind the accident and it should be probed properly as so many lives have been lost. I have heard that the death toll could rise to 500. Three bogies have not been searched,” she said.

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