Coromandel Express accident: Odisha official paints grim picture, rescue op on
The Coromandel Express, running from Shalimar Station in West Bengal to Chennai in Tamil Nadu, collided with a goods train in Odisha's Balasore.
An express train met with an accident near Bahanaga railway station in Odisha's Balasore district, injuring many. Several bogies of the 12841 Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed after colliding with a freight train near Bahanaga Station.
Three teams of the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) and four units of Odisha's DRF along with 60 ambulances were mobilized for the search and rescue operation. Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik directed revenue minister Pramila Swain and special relief commissioner Satyabrata Sahu to rush to the accident spot and coordinate rescue and relief operations.
The Odisha chief secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena said that 132 injured passengers have been shifted to community healthcare centres in Soro, Gopalpur and Khantapada. Jena also informed that a large number of buses are being mobilised to shift the injured to hospital as casualties appear “far too many.”
Coromandel Express route
The train originates from Shalimar Station in West Bengal and ends at Puratchi Thalaivar Dr. M.G. Ramachandran Central Railway Station in Chennai. The train started its journey at 3.30pm and arrived at Balasore station at 6.30pm. It was scheduled to reach Chennai tomorrow at 4.50pm.
The movement on both up and down lines on the route has been affected by the accident as the train derailed and obstructed the other line.
West Bengal CM's first reaction
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has expressed shock over the incident and said her government is coordinating with the Odisha government.
"Our emergency control room has been activated at once with numbers 033- 22143526/ 22535185. All out efforts for rescue, retrieval, aid and assistance initiated," she said in a tweet.
"We are sending a 5- 6 members team to the spot to cooperate with the Odisha government and railway authorities and to assist rescue operations. I am monitoring the situation continually personally with Chief Secretary and other senior officers," the chief minister added.
The government has provided several helpline numbers -- 033-26382217, 8972073925, 67822 62286, 9332392339.
Ex gratia for accident victims
Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced an ex gratia amount of ₹2 lakh for families of the deceased and ₹2 lakh for those severely injured in the accident. Those with minor injuries will also be given a compensation of ₹50,000, the minister added.
(With inputs from bureau and agencies)