India train crash: Hundreds dead and more injured in Odisha’s Balasore district collision
India’s deadliest rail collision in more than two decades has killed at least 280 people and injured around 650, officials say. The crash happened 130 miles southwest of Kolkata in Odisha’s Balasore district at about 7pm local time on Friday (June 2).
Officials confirmed several carriages from Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed, hitting a stationary goods train and several of its coaches ended up on the opposite track. Another train, the Howrah Superfast Express travelling from Yesvantpur to Howrah, then hit the overturned carriages.
Atul Karwal, chief of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said that it was the third deadliest crash in the history of Indian railways. Karwal told news agency ANI: "The force with which the trains collided has resulted in several coaches being crushed and mangled.” Sudhanshu Sarangi, director general of Odisha Fire Services has previously said 288 people had died.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was "distressed" and that "all possible assistance" was being offered. The state’s chief secretary Pradeep Jena said more than 200 ambulances and hundreds of doctors, nurses and rescue personnel were sent to the scene.
One male survivor told India’s ANI news agency: "10 to 15 people fell on me when the accident happened and everything went haywire. I was at the bottom of the pile.
"I got hurt in my hand and also the back of my neck. When I came out, I saw someone had lost their hand, someone had lost their leg, while someone’s face was distorted".
A day of mourning has been announced in the state.