West News Wire: Officials report that all known survivors were retrieved from the debris after three trains were involved in a terrible collision in the state of Odisha in eastern India, killing at least 288 persons. 

The South Eastern Railway reported on Saturday that at least 803 people had been hurt in the disaster that happened on Friday in the Balasore district of Odisha state, which was the country’s bloodiest rail accident in almost 20 years. 

According to a coordinator, Saturday marked the end of the rescue efforts. All of the injured and deceased passengers have been taken away from the scene of the disaster. 

Amitabh Sharma, a spokesman for Indian Railways, stated that the wreckage will begin to be removed by rail authorities in order to rebuild the track and resume train operations. 

Numerous fire department employees, police officials, and sniffer dogs were all involved in a massive search and rescue operation. Along with army personnel and air force helicopters, National Disaster Response Force teams were also dispatched to the scene. 

In order to transport the injured to hospitals and care for those still at the scene, more than 200 ambulances and 100 more doctors were dispatched to the accident scene. 

According to Pradeep Jena, the state’s top civil servant, about 200 of the seriously injured patients were sent to specialised hospitals in different towns in Odisha. 

“Identifying the bodies is currently a challenge. The bodies are turned over following autopsy wherever the kin can present proof. If not identified, perhaps we will need to use other techniques like a DNA test,” he said. 

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While passengers cried out for help and pleaded for help near to the debris, rescue workers could be seen climbing onto one of the crumpled carriages to look for survivors. 

The Howrah Superfast Express, which travels from Bengaluru to Howrah, West Bengal, collided with the Coromandel Express, which travels from Kolkata to Chennai, at around 7 p.m. local time (13:30 p.m. GMT), on Friday. Authorities have given different versions of which train derailed first, causing it to collide with the other, and they have not yet offered any explanations for what might have caused it. 

Debabrata Mohanty, an editor at the Hindustan Times, told news reporters that four livestock wagons on the train that left from Kolkata went off the track shortly before 7pm. “No one knows how it happened, but it was travelling at around 100 km/h,” he said. 

Shortly after, the train coming from Bengaluru crashed into two of the derailed rail coaches. 

“But most of the casualties happened because this one particular train got derailed, not because of the two trains colliding,” Mohanty added. 

The crash site was visited by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, and he later paid a visit to the hospital where the injured were being treated. 

Prior to her visit to the scene, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced compensation amounts of around one million rupees ($12,000) for surviving relatives of the deceased, $2,400 for “grievous” injuries, and $600 for “minor” injuries. 

 The opposition demanded Vaishnaw’s resignation and lambasted the administration. 


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