‘Disheartened...never seen so many bodies in our life’: Odisha fire official

Jun 03, 2023 05:47 PM IST

Scores of bodies, covered by white sheets, lay on the ground near the tracks as locals and rescuers raced to help survivors.

The top official of Odisha Fire Services on Saturday said a crane has arrived at the accident site to pull up the coaches to look for survivors beneath. Sudhanshu Sarangi, director general of Odisha Fire Services, however, admitted that they don't expect any survivors under the coaches.

Sudhanshu Sarangi, director general of Odisha Fire Services.(ANI)
Sudhanshu Sarangi, director general of Odisha Fire Services.(ANI)

“A crane has arrived, we will pull up (coaches) one by one but we don't expect any survivors under them. We are disheartened, we had never seen so many bodies in our life,” the official said.

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“It should take another three to four hours depending on whether the crane will be able to pull up the coaches. We have unsuccessfully used some cranes since yesterday,” he added.

At least 261 people have died and around 1,000 injured in India's worst rail accident in over two decades.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inspected the triple train accident site at Bahanaga in Odisha’s Balasore district to take stock of relief and restoration operations. He was accompanied by railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

The prime minister interacted with Odisha’s Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Pramila Mallik as well as the local police chief. He also inquired about the progress of restoration work launched at the mishap site to bring train services back to normal.

After meeting the injured people in the hospital, Modi said, “It's a painful incident. The government will leave no stone unturned for the treatment of those injured. It's a serious incident, and instructions have been given to probe from every angle. Those found guilty will be punished stringently. The railway is working towards track restoration.”

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