Modi vows 'harshest punishment' for people to blame for India train crash, as death toll reaches 300 with 900 injured

4 June 2023, 07:18 | Updated: 4 June 2023, 07:51

Narendra Modi has promised the harshest punishment for those to blame for the train crash
Narendra Modi has promised the harshest punishment for those to blame for the train crash. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

India's prime minister has pledged to inflict the "harshest punishment" on those responsible for the horrific train crash in the east of the country on Friday, which has killed hundreds of people.

At least 300 people have died and 900 more are injured after the three-train smash on Friday evening, which took place after one came off the tracks and collided with another passenger service, which then struck a goods train.

Visiting the crash site in Odisha's Balasore district on Saturday, Narendra Modi said: "This is a very big, painful and disturbing incident.

"Those family members who have been injured, the government will leave no effort for their well-being."

Mr Modi said his family "is with the families in their hour of grief", adding that "all types of enquiries" would seek to uncover the truth about the crash, the worst in India for 20 years.

Listen and subscribe to Unprecedented: Inside Downing Street on Global Player

The wreckage site
The wreckage site. Picture: Getty

He warned: "The guilty should get the harshest punishment - they will not be spared," he warned.

"Words can't capture my deep sorrow," he added.

"We stand committed to providing all possible assistance to those affected."

Listen and subscribe to Unprecedented: Inside Downing Street on Global Player

Early reports suggest that a signal failure caused one of the passenger trains to derail, hitting the other, which then crashed into the goods train.

Rescue workers have been working into the night to get those trapped in the carriages out.
Rescue workers have been working into the night to get those trapped in the carriages out. Picture: AP/Alamy

Pradeep Jena, the chief secretary of Odisha, added almost 500 police officers and rescue workers responded to the accident, with the assistance of 75 ambulances.

People inspected the site of passenger trains that derailed in Balasore district.
People inspected the site of passenger trains that derailed in Balasore district. Picture: AP/Alamy

K S Anand, chief public relations officer of the South Eastern Railway, said: "The Coromandel Express was supposed to travel on the main line, but a signal was given for the loop line instead, and the train rammed into a goods train already parked over there.

"Its coaches then fell onto the tracks on either side, also derailing the Howrah Superfast Express."

Read more: Horror train crash in India leaves at least 280 dead and hundreds injured

Read more: India to push for UK to hand over Koh-i-Noor diamond as part of 'colonial reckoning' that 'dwarfs' Elgin Marble demands

Sudhanshu Sarangi, director of Odisha state's fire and emergency department, said all survivors had been pulled from the wreckage.

He added: "This is very, very tragic - I have never seen anything like this in my career."

Families of the dead will receive compensation of one million rupees (£9,700). Seriously injured people will be given 200,000 rupees (£1,950), and people with minor injuries will be paid 50,000 rupees (£485), according to railway minister Ashwini Vaishna.

Tootage showed flipped over train carriages after the three-train collision
Tootage showed flipped over train carriages after the three-train collision. Picture: Getty

India’s railway is the largest train network under the management of one body in the world. Despite recent efforts to improve the safety of those travelling by railway, the country faces several rail accidents every year, PA reported.

In November 2016, more than 100 people were killed in Northern India when 14 coaches of a passenger train rolled off the track.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

England manager Gareth Southgate has suggested his team are not fit enough

Gareth Southgate says England squad have 'limitations' after lacklustre start to Euro 2024

Just Stop Oil plans major disruption to summer holidays with private jet stunt just the start

Two Just Stop Oil protesters deny causing £52,000 worth of damage after private jets sprayed with orange paint

Sir Keir Starmer, (L), and Kemi Badenoch

‘We are not rejoining the EU’: Starmer shuts down Badenoch’s claim Labour want to ‘reverse Brexit’

Rowling criticises Sir Keir along with several members of his shadow cabinet

JK Rowling 'struggling to support' Labour over Sir Keir's stance on transgender rights that's 'abandoning' women

Taylor Swift poses with the Royal Family

Taylor Swift takes selfie with William, George and Charlotte - as Prince of Wales spotted dancing away to ‘Shake It Off’

Exclusive
Chris Packham has blamed the media for the radical action of Just Stop Oil

Environmental activist Chris Packham blames media for existence of Just Stop Oil

Starmer labels Farage's comments 'disgraceful'

Farage’s comments on Ukraine are ‘disgraceful’, Starmer tells LBC, as PM accuses him of ‘playing into Putin’s hands’

Timberlake was arrested after having dinner with friends on Long Island

Justin Timberlake breaks silence on drink-driving arrest at Chicago concert

Live
Nigel Farage

General Election LIVE: Tories rally against Farage after Reform leader says West provoked Russia into invading Ukraine

Dr Michael Mosley and his wife, Clare.

‘We miss him so much’: Michael Mosley’s widow says she will continue his work in emotional tribute

Temperatures are expected to soar to 30C

Exact date Brits to bask in 30C heat as Met Office predicts first official heatwave of summer

The four individuals were given sentences ranging from four to four-and-a-half years

Four members of Britain's richest family handed jail sentences after exploiting servants in Geneva villa

Jay Slater had travelled to the Canary Islands for a music festival

Search for missing British teenager in Tenerife hindered by social media conspiracy theories

Damage can be seen to a front window law enforcement officers work the scene of a shooting at the Mad Butcher grocery store in Fordyce, Ark

Three killed and 10 injured in shooting at supermarket in Arkansas

Jay Slater had travelled to the Canary Islands for a music festival

Spanish police reject help from Lancashire Constabulary as desperate search for missing Brit Jay Slater continues

Kemi Badenoch has warned that Labour will reverse Brexit

Keir Starmer will 'reverse Brexit' if Labour wins election, Kemi Badenoch warns