News Brief

Coromandel Express Derailment: Massive Search And Rescue Operation Underway At Train Accident Site In Odisha

Arun Kumar Das

Jun 03, 2023, 10:33 AM | Updated 10:33 AM IST

Locals, security personnel and NDRF at the ongoing rescue operations at the site.
Locals, security personnel and NDRF at the ongoing rescue operations at the site.

Massive search and rescue operations involving more than 100 ambulances, accident relief medical vans and scores of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), fire brigade personnel and medical staff are underway after the major train accident near Balasore in Odisha.

While an inquiry has been ordered to find out the cause of the accident, there are various possible reasons like track defects, signal failure and human errors doing rounds in the Indian Railways.

Incidentally, Indian Railways had organised a Chintan Shivir (brainstorming session) on 1 and 2 June involving top brass of the Railways to find out ways for achieving zero accident rate in train operations, among other issues.

According to reports, at least 233 are dead, while over 900 have been injured in the tragic incident of mammoth scale in Odisha.

The President, Prime Minister and Home Minister along with other Cabinet Ministers have expressed their deep anguish while offering condolences to the bereaved families of the worst train accident in the recent past.

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw who rushed to the accident site in a copter after cancelling the Vande Bharat launch in Goa, announced enhanced ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh for death in the accident and Rs 2 lakh for serious injury and Rs 50,000 for simple injury.

The Railways maintained that in an unfortunate incident, Train no 12841 Coromandel Express (Howrah-Chennai) got derailed this evening near Bahanaga bazar station. Train no 12864 SMVB-HWH Superfast Express (Sir M Visvesvaraya Terminal-Howrah) also derailed at Bahanaga bazar station.

Bahanaga Bazar railway station is a railway station on Kharagpur-Puri line, part of the Howrah-Chennai main line under Kharagpur railway division of South Eastern Railway zone in Balasore district in Odisha.

Immediately after the mishap occured, Self Propelled Accident Relief Medical Vans (SPARME), and Accident Relief Trains were ordered from Kharagpur, Balasore and Santragachi.

Railway authorities also rushed to the spot to coordinate rescue and relief operations. Rescue operations are being carried out at war footing scale.

Railway helpline numbers have been issued for the information of stranded passengers.

The helpline numbers are:

Howrah helpline: 033-26382217, Kharagpur helpline: 8972073925 and 9332392339, Balasore helpline: 8249591559 and 7978418322,
Shalimar helpline: 9903370746, Santragachi Jn helpline: 8109289460, 8340649469.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


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