"Those Responsible Will Be Severely Punished," Says PM In Odisha

Odisha Train Accident: Earlier on Saturday, PM Modi convened a meeting to review the situation in connection with the rail accident in which 288 people were killed last night.

Odisha train accident: PM Modi will meet with injured people at hospitals in Cuttack, his office tweeted.

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday visited the train accident site in Odisha's Balasore and said those responsible "will be severely punished". The government is standing with those who lost their family members in the tragedy, he said. At least 288 people were killed and 800 injured in the country's deadliest rail accident in more than two decades.

"It's a painful incident. The government will leave no stone unturned for the treatment of those injured. It's a serious incident, instructions issued for probe from every angle. Those found guilty will be severely punished," he said.

PM Modi landed in an Air Force chopper near the site of the incident at Bahanaga Bazar Station in Balasore district, about 170 km north of Bhubaneswar. He visited the injured at the Balasore District Hospital to meet the crash survivors. The PM was seen inspecting the site with fellow cabinet colleagues, Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

The Prime Minister spoke to the Cabinet Secretary and Health Minister from the site. He asked them to ensure all help needed is provided to the injured and their families, said officials.

PM Modi also said that special care must be taken to ensure that the bereaved families don't face inconvenience and those affected keep getting assistance they require.

Earlier on Saturday, PM Modi convened a meeting to review the situation in connection with the accident.

Three trains had collided after one of the train's coaches derailed in Balasore at 7 pm on Friday.

The crash involved the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, and a goods train.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is also on a visit to the state to take stock of the situation and meet the injured in hospitals. Her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik also visited Balasore this morning and reviewed the situation with Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.

The rescue operation in the horrific train accident is complete, and the restoration work has started, railways spokesperson Amitabh Sharma said this afternoon, about 18 hours after the horrific collision.

The crash saw one train ram so hard into the other that carriages were lifted high into the air, twisting and then smashing off the tracks. Another carriage had been tossed entirely onto its roof, crushing the passenger section. Over 3,400 passengers were travelling in two trains, according to railway officials.

The Railways Ministry has ordered a high-level probe into how the accident happened. The ministry has announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the families of those who have died, and Rs 2 lakh for those seriously injured. PM Modi has also 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).