Medical workers stand in front of the bodies of victims killed in an accident after a three-train collision near Balasore, about 200 km (125 miles) from the state capital Bhubaneswar, on June 3, 2023. (Photo: AFP)
Kolkata: The toll in the disastrous railway accident in Odisha has risen to 261 and rescue operations at the site have been completed, a South Eastern Railway official said on Saturday.
"The number of casualties in Friday's railway accident has increased to 261. Another 650 injured passengers are being treated at various hospitals in Odisha," SER spokesperson Aditya Chowdhury said.
An enquiry into the accident will be held by the commissioner of railway safety (CRS), South Eastern circle, the official said.
The train crash, one of the deadliest in the country, took place in Balasore district about 250 km south of Kolkata and 170 km north of Bhubaneswar around 7 pm on Friday, prompting the Railway Ministry to order a probe. Three trains - the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express and a goods train were involved in the accident.
Several coaches of the 12864 Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, on the way to Howrah, derailed and fell on adjacent tracks. The 12841 Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express coming from the opposite direction on the parallel track rammed into the derailed coaches. Some 12 Coromandel Express coaches derail and hit the stationary goods train on the third track.
Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw reached the spot and supervised the rescue operation.
"A detailed high-level inquiry will be conducted and the rail safety commissioner will also do an independent inquiry," Vaishnaw said on Saturday.