King Charles sends message of condolence to Prez Murmu over Odisha train tragedy, recalls his visit to state in 1980

Jun 05, 2023 07:54 PM IST

At least 275 people died and thousands were injured in a three-way train collision - one of the worst accidents in the country.

Britain's King Charles III on Monday sent a ‘message of condolence’ to the President of India Droupadi Murmu over the tragic Odisha train accident that claimed 275 lives and left over 1,200 people injured. He also recalled his fond memories of a visit to Odisha 43 years ago.

King Charles III(Reuters)
King Charles III(Reuters)

Also read: Goods train derails in Odisha 3 days after Balasore crash; ‘Not ours’: Railways

“Both my wife and I have been most profoundly shocked and saddened by the news of such a dreadful accident outside Balasore. I would like to express our deepest possible condolences to the families of all those who have so tragically lost their lives,” Charles was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Buckingham Palace.

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It added, “I do hope you know what a special place India and the people of India have in our hearts. I have particularly fond memories of visiting Odisha in 1980 and meeting some of its people on that occasion.”

Also read: Bengali love poems, sketches found strewn on tracks of Odisha train accident site

“I pray, therefore, that you may be able to convey our most heartfelt prayers and sympathy to all those who have been affected by this appalling tragedy, together with our special thoughts for the people of Odisha,” the King concludes.

In the past days, several leaders from the UK government, including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expressed their condolences.

Odisha train tragedy

At least 275 people died and thousands were injured in a three-way train collision - one of the worst accidents in the country. According to officials, on Friday evening, the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express entered the wrong track and hit a stationary goods train. After some time, another passenger train - Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express - which was coming at a high speed rammed into the last two trains' derailed coaches.

While railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Sunday said the “root cause” of the triple train accident in Odisha's Balasore district has been identified, the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) 2022 report flagged serious concerns ranging from not utilising a special railway fund on priority tasks to the reduction in money spent on track renewal.

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