UN General Assembly president condoles loss of lives in Odisha train accident

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United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) President Csaba Korosi. (File Photo: ANI)

New York: United Nations General Assembly President Csaba Korosi on Saturday expressed grief over the loss of lives in the train accident in Odisha.

Taking to his official Twitter handle, Korosi stated that his thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

Csaba Korosi tweeted, "I'm deeply saddened to hear the news of the train crash in Odisha, India. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and with the emergency services. Heartfelt condolences to the people and the Government of India."

Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena on Saturday said that the death toll in the train crash that took occurred on Friday has risen to 238.

Speaking to ANI, Jena said, "The bogies are severely damaged and they have been compressed from various sides. That's why it is taking time in cutting the bogies. We discussed that we have to do it very professionally. We can't just cut them using cranes. Therefore, we have brought plasma cutters, gas cutters and hydraulic clips. Hopefully, in 2-3 hours, they will be able to get inside the bogie".

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"Some conflicting figures are coming. Our district magistrate and senior officers are busy coordinating hospitals and other things. Maybe in half an hour, I would be able to give a little closer figure. The last figure the DM confirmed to me was 238. Some media channels are saying the number is 270, 288 and 300 plus. But we can confirm. About 900 people are injured and they are getting necessary treatment," the Chief Secretary said.

Pradeep Jena also appreciated the voluntary support being given by the people. He said, "The people are coming voluntarily to donate blood. I am getting requests from many places so it is a good sign. Since the accident now, the local people have been providing a lot of assistance to our rescue professionals."

The number of casualties in the three-way train accident on Friday involving the Bengaluru-Howrah superfast Express, the Coromandel Express and the goods train on three separate tracks at Bahanaga Bazar Station in Balasore district has reached 238, the preliminary report on the train accident said.

Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw reached the spot and supervised the rescue operation. He said, "A detailed high-level inquiry will be conducted and the rail safety commissioner will also do an independent inquiry."

Vaishnaw further said, "Our focus is on rescue and relief operations. Restoration will begin after clearance from the district administration." (ANI)

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