A devastating train accident occurred in Odisha, resulting in a tragic triple train crash involving Coromandel Express and two other trains. The incident claimed the lives of at least 233 people and left approximately 900 injured. The details surrounding the cause of the Coromandel Express derailment and subsequent collisions are still under investigation. The state government has declared a day of mourning, and rescue operations are underway to aid the victims and their families.
The Sequence of Events
The accident unfolded when the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, en route to Howrah, experienced several coach derailments, causing them to fall onto adjacent tracks.
Coromandel Express Collision
The Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, bound for Chennai, collided with the derailed coaches of the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express. The impact of the collision resulted in further damage and casualties.
Involvement of a Goods Train
Following the collision, the derailed coaches of the Coromandel Express struck the wagons of a parked goods train. This additional impact added to the severity of the incident.
Location and Timelines
The triple train crash occurred near the Bahanga Baazar station in the Balasore district of Odisha, situated approximately 250 km south of Kolkata and 170 km north of Bhubaneswar. The Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express derailed at around 6:55 PM, and the Coromandel Express derailed at approximately 7:00 PM.
Eyewitnesses described the horrific scene, with one passenger on the Coromandel Express recounting witnessing over 200-250 deaths. The accident left families crushed, bodies dismembered, and blood strewn across the train tracks. The eyewitness expressed condolences to the affected families.
Rescue and Assistance Efforts
Rescue teams from neighboring districts were swiftly mobilized by the Odisha government to aid in the rescue operations. Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw requested the assistance of the Air Force in the ongoing rescue efforts. Injured passengers were transported to various hospitals in Gopalpur, Khantapara, Balasore, Bhadrak, and Soro.
State Mourning and Helpline Information
To express solidarity with the victims and their families, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik declared a one-day state mourning. The government has also established helplines for those seeking information and assistance: 06782-262286 (Odisha government helpline), 033-26382217 (Howrah railway helpline), 8972073925 (Kharagpur railway helpline), 8249591559 (Balasore railway helpline), and 044-25330952 (Chennai railway helpline).