Rescue teams rest during a rescue and search operation after the train accident in Balasore district | Photo: PTI
Balasore (Odisha): Days after the tragic train accident in Balasore, Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena on Sunday said that the number of deaths in the incident has been revised to 275 after factoring out some 'double countings'.
The Chief Secretary also said that out of the 275, 88 bodies have been identified.
Speaking to ANI, Pradeep Jena said, "The Railways on Saturday said that the number of deaths is 288 and we also circulated that. But, since then the District Magistrate and his team checked each and every body recovered, checked from the track, the hospital and two temporary assembly points. It was found that some bodies were counted twice. So, after wading out the duplications, the Collector has informed that the number of deaths is 275 and not 288."
"Out of 275, 88 bodies have been identified. 78 bodies have been handed over till Sunday morning. 10 other dead bodies have been identified and the process of handing over is going on," he added.
The Chief Secretary further said that out of the remaining bodies, 170 have been sent to Bhubaneshwar in mortuaries and other hospitals -- AIIMS, Capital Hospital, SUM, KIM and AMRI Hospital -- while the remaining bodies will also be sent there.
All together 1,175 injured people were referred to different hospitals, he said. Till Sunday morning, the Chief Secretary said 793 injured passengers have been discharged. "Remaining, 382 were getting treated till morning. This figure will again be updated again," he said.
"Regarding the bodies that have not been identified, we have put up the photographs of the bodies and posted them on the website of three organisations; Special Relief Commissioner (SRF), Odisha State Disaster Management Authority and Bhubaneshwar Municipal Corporation (BMC)," added Jena.
Meanwhile, as per the Ministry of Railways, the restoration work is going in full swing and the officials are closely monitoring the restoration process at the accident site.
A manpower of over 1000 people are engaged in the work. More than seven Poclain Machines, two Accident Relief Trains, 3-4 Railway and Road Cranes are deployed, the Ministry stated.
The three-way accident involved Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Coromandel Express and a goods train on three separate tracks at Bahanaga Bazar Station in the Balasore district.
Seven National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Teams, five Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) Units and 24 Fire Services and Emergency units were involved in rescue operations.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) deployed Mi-17 helicopters for the evacuation of the deceased and injured. According to the Eastern Command, IAF coordinated with the rescue efforts with the civil administration and Indian Railways.
The preliminary report on the tragedy said the three-way accident involved Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Coromandel Express and a goods train on three separate tracks at Bahanaga Bazar Station in Balasore district.
As many as 17 coaches of these two passenger trains were derailed and severely damaged in the accident on Friday evening.