A tragic train accident claimed the lives of at least 230 people and injured more than 300 others in eastern India on Friday evening. The accident occurred when a passenger train derailed and collided with a goods train in Balasore district, Odisha state. The impact of the collision caused pieces of the derailed train to fall onto a nearby track where another passenger train traveling in the opposite direction hit them.
Rescue teams are working tirelessly to free dozens more people feared trapped in the mangled coaches. About 400 people have been taken to hospitals, some with serious injuries. Hundreds of young people have lined up outside a government hospital in Soro to donate blood. Three National Disaster Response Force teams are at the site of the accident, and six more teams are being mobilized.
The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, expressed his grief over the incident and said that he had spoken to the Railway Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw, and taken stock of the situation. He said that the priority was “removing the living to the hospitals” and that “all possible assistance” was being given to those affected.
The cause of the derailment is not yet known. The Railway Ministry has ordered an inquiry into the accident and announced compensation for the victims. This is one of the worst rail accidents in India’s history, where thousands of deaths occur every year due to human error or outdated signaling equipment. More than 12 million people travel on 14,000 trains a day across India.
This is a developing story.