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

2 June 2023, 21:01 | Updated: 3 June 2023, 08:24

People were trapped inside the train wreckage in Odisha.
People were trapped inside the train wreckage in Odisha. Picture: Alamy/AP/Press Trust of India

By Jenny Medlicott

At least 280 people have died and hundreds more are injured after a "violent" crash involving three trains in eastern India, an official said.

The crash occurred after a train came off the tracks and collided with another passenger service, which then struck a goods train in Odisha's Balasore district at around 7:30 on Friday.

Odisha's chief secretary, Pradeep Jena, said around 80 people have lost their lives and 850 others injured have been sent to hospital.

He said that efforts to rescue survivors in "full swing" and almost 500 police officers and rescue workers with 75 ambulances and buses responded to the incident.

Rescuers were attempting to free 200 people trapped in the wreckage of the trains following the incident, said D B Shinde, the Balasore district administrator in Odisha state.

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A railroad ministry spokesperson, Amitabh Sharma, said 10 to 12 carriages of one of the trains derailed, and debris fell on to a nearby track.

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

The debris from this train then fell onto a nearby track, which was hit by another train approaching from the opposite direction.

The cause of the crash is unclear and is being investigated.

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

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi said he was distressed by the incident, and added: "In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon.

“Rescue ops are underway at the site of the mishap and all possible assistance is being given to those affected.”

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.

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

Surviving passengers at the scene were seen offering their help to rescue those who remained trapped in the wreckage.

Rescue efforts are expected to continue into the night.

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