Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Saturday morning arrived at the accident spot in Odisha’s Balasore where three trains collided claiming the lives of 238 people and injuring around 900 and took stock of the situation and assured to conduct a detailed high-level inquiry on the mishap.
“A detailed high-level inquiry will be conducted and the rail safety commissioner will also do an independent inquiry,” Vaishnaw said. “Our focus is on rescue and relief operations. Restoration will begin after clearance from the district administration,” he said.
After a collision occurred between the passenger train and goods train in Odisha’s Balasore district on Friday, leaving at least 238 people dead and 900 people injured, Odisha chief secretary Pradeep Jena confirmed on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Union Minister of Education and Skill Development, Dharmendra Pradhan also cut short his visit to Kolkata in West Bengal and left for Balasore in Odisha where several coaches of a passenger train derailed after colliding with a goods carriage.
The Odisha government has declared a day of mourning on Saturday after the train derailment. The Konkan Railway officials informed that the Goa-Mumbai Vande Bharat Express’s flagging-off ceremony has been cancelled due to the tragic accident in Odisha.
Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Saturday said he had ordered a high-level probe into the derailment on Friday night.
Speaking to the reporters on the incident, Vaishnaw said the accident was unfortunate and the rescue operation began shortly after word of the incident reached his ministry.
Several coaches of the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed near Bahanaga station in Odisha’s Balasore after hitting a goods train.
According to Railway spokesperson Amitabh Sharma, the accident took place around 7 pm on Friday. “Around 7 pm, 10-12 coaches of the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed near Baleswar and fell on the opposite track.
After some time, another train from Yeswanthpur to Howrah dashed into those derailed coaches resulting in the derailment of its 3-4 coaches,” Sharma told the sources.
Rescue operation is underway.