Representative image | Photo: AFP
New Delhi: In the midst of a horrific train crash in Odisha, the Ministry of Civil Aviation on Saturday advised airline companies to keep an eye on the unusual surge in fares of flights coming to and from Bhubaneswar.
The Ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) has issued an advisory to all airline companies not to increase fares.
"In view of the unfortunate accident in Odisha, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has advised all airlines to monitor any abnormal surge in airfares to and from Bhubaneswar and other airports of the State and take necessary action regarding the same," MoCA said.
Further, the ministry has advised all airlines not to charge any fee for cancellation and rescheduling to Bhubaneswar.
"Any cancellation and rescheduling on flights due to the incident may be done without penal charges," MoCA has advised all the airline companies.
The accident involved the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Coromandel Express and a goods train on three separate tracks at Bahanaga Bazar Station in the State's Balasore district. According to Odisha Government's Special Relief Commissioner's office 17 coaches of the two trains had derailed and severely damaged on Friday evening.
As per the information received till now from the South Eastern Railway, there are 288 casualties. As total of 56 passengers have suffered grievous injury and 747 passengers were minorly injured.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached the train crash site in Odisha's Balasore. He was accompanied by Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
At the site PM Modi spoke to Cabinet Secretary and Health Minister and asked them to ensure all needed help is provided to the injured and their families, government sources said.
After taking stock of crash incident, PM Modi visited Fakir Mohan Hospital, Balasore, where some of the passengers injured in Friday's accident involving three trains were admitted.
After meeting the crash survivors, he said that directions have been given to probe the train accident and that whoever is found guilty will not be spared.
He also thanked the people of Odisha, who came forward to help crash survivors, whether by donating blood or providing assistance in the rescue operation.
Prior to this, PM Modi had also convened a meeting to review the situation in connection with the rail accident.