Odisha Train Accident: Odisha Chief Secretary PK Jena said the death count stands at 238.
The horrific train crash that killed 238 people and injured about 900 in Odisha's Balasore on Friday evening was caused when the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express derailed and collided with a goods train that was parked on the loop track on the side, and the derailed coaches hit the incoming Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, a Twitter user who claims to have survived the crash has said. NDTV can't independently verify if the passenger was indeed travelling in one of the trains, though an official list of passengers in Coromandel Express does mention a 28-year-old man with the same name at seat number one, in the 1A class of H1 coach.
"As a passenger on the Coromandel Express from Howrah to Chennai, I am extremely thankful to have escaped unscathed. It probably is the biggest train accident-related incident," he tweeted, detailing "initial impressions" on what went down.
Three general coaches of the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express are completely damaged and derailed, the Twitter user named Anubhav Das said, adding that almost 13 coaches of Coromandel Express including General, Sleeper, AC 3 tier and AC 2 tier are "completely damaged".
He claimed to have personally seen more than 200-250 deaths.
"Families crushed away, limbless bodies and a bloodbath on the train tracks. It was a sight that I will never forget. God help the families. My condolences," he said.
Citing the latest report, Odisha Chief Secretary PK Jena said the death count stands at 238, while over 650 people were injured in the accident that occurred in Balasore district, about 250 km south of Kolkata and 170 km north of Bhubaneswar, around 7 pm on Friday.
The rescue operations are on and all hospitals in the nearby districts have been put on alert. Three NDRF units, 4 Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force units, over 15 fire rescue teams, 30 doctors, 200 police personnel and 60 ambulances have been mobilised to the site, Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep told NDTV.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi too expressed his distress over the accident and announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the family of the dead and Rs 50,000 for the injured from the PM's National Relief Fund (PMNRF).