Three trains collided in India: almost 300 people died, 1000 injured - ForumDaily
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Three trains collided in India: nearly 300 dead, 1000 injured

Rescuers in India are trying to find survivors of a three-train accident that killed hundreds of people. It became one of the worst rail disasters the country has ever seen. The edition told in more detail CNN.

Photo: IStock

At least 288 people were killed and more than 1000 injured when two passenger trains collided with a freight train in Balasore, eastern Odisha, on June 2.

Rescuers expect the death toll to rise as many people are trapped under the overturned wagons.

"We don't really hope to save anyone alive," Odisha fire chief Sudhanshu Sarandji said.

The cause of the crash remains unclear, but Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnow said a "high-level investigation" had been ordered into the collision, which took place near the Bahanaga railway station.

The incident reverberated throughout India, a country of 1,4 billion people, sparking renewed calls for authorities to address the security problems that have plagued the country's railways for decades.

India's trains serve 13 million passengers every day and 8 billion a year. Although the government has recently invested millions in modernizing its railways, years of neglect have led to a deterioration in the condition of the tracks.

On the subject: An official in India drained an entire dam to retrieve his phone, which he dropped into the water.

Video and photographs from the crash site capture the incredibly horrific aftermath of the accident. Dozens of corpses can be seen near the mangled trains, and police officers and survivors stand nearby. Passengers' personal belongings are scattered in the carriages, the windows are broken, the floor is strewn with glass and metal fragments. The train cars were torn apart.

"I saw people piled on top of each other"

One of the passengers sitting in the penultimate car, Anshuman Purohi, said he felt "a strong shaking and realized that something was going very, very wrong."

“I opened the door and saw the scale of the disaster: in front of us in the ditch was the rest of the train. As we walked, all we could hear was the loud howl of human screams. Bloody people ran to us for help and water,” he said.

According to Puroha, who lives in Singapore and was visiting his family in Odisha, several of the people he was with started calling emergency services while he was helping to deliver water.

“Walking along the rails, you could see the scale of the accident,” he said. “It was only part of the general accident. We couldn't see the whole picture. The wagons were on wagons. People were thrown out of the wagons many meters away.”

Rohit Raj, a 19-year-old survivor, recalls: “I was sleeping when I suddenly heard a loud crash. There was smoke everywhere, we didn't see anything. Everyone was screaming, everyone was in shock.”

“People tried to run and break out of the train. The car in front of me was badly mangled. Passengers are trapped. I saw people piled on top of each other. My wagon derailed, but fortunately I managed to escape.”

Another survivor, who did not give his name, said he woke up when the train derailed, causing about 15 people to fall on it.

“I was at the bottom of the pile. My arm is injured, as well as the back of my neck,” he said. “When I got off the train, I saw that someone was left without a hand, someone had a disfigured face.”

Search for survivors

Narendra Singh Bundela, inspector general for operations at the National Disaster Response Force (NDRP), said teams rescued passengers found alive on the spot, but many bodies remain trapped under derailed railcars.

“The cars are very heavy, it is very difficult to remove them and identify the bodies,” Bundela said, noticing that 17 cars had derailed. “This is a serious incident and the government has ordered an investigation. In this century for India, as far as I know, this is one of the most serious accidents.

More than 115 ambulances and several fire departments were involved in rescue operations. The Indian Army, the National Disaster Response Force teams, the Orissa State Rapid Response Force and its fire department arrived on the scene.

Hundreds of people gathered outside local hospitals to donate blood in solidarity and support.

Manish tried to donate blood at Soro Block Hospital, but was unable to get in as it was already full of people offering help.

“There are literally dead bodies around,” he said. “Injured passengers are being treated outside the hospital due to a lack of beds.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his condolences.

“In this hour of sorrow, my thoughts are with the families of the victims,” he wrote.

According to a Twitter statement from the Prime Minister's Office, Modi headed to the site of the train wreck.

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Saturday, June 3, is declared a day of mourning in Odisha.

Aging infrastructure

India's vast rail network suffers from outdated infrastructure and poor maintenance, factors that often lead to accidents.

In 2021, more than 16 people died in nearly 000 rail accidents across the country.

According to National Crime Records, the majority of train accidents - 67,7% - were due to train falls and collisions with people on the way.

The death toll from the June 2 accident has already surpassed that of another notorious incident in 2016, when more than 140 people died in a derailment in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

India is now overhauling its infrastructure, while the country is investing millions in upgrading transport links.

In February, Modi opened the first section of a 1386-kilometer expressway linking the capital city of New Delhi with financial hub Mumbai.

The construction of the Western Freight Corridor is currently underway, the purpose of which is to relieve India's railway network.

Later this year, the country will open the Chenab Bridge, the world's tallest railway bridge, in the Jammu and Kashmir region.

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