The deadly triple-train crash in Odisha: Over 260 dead and the death toll is feared to surge!

India woke up on Saturday to the distressing visuals from the state of Odisha that have shown incredible train accident that the country hasn't witnessed in several decades. It was a triple-train crash where three trains have fatally derailed and caused collateral damages, with the entire mechanism of the Indian government has zeroed in towards rescuing the trapped people and probing about what led to a historical mishap. 

The crashed trains were two passengers trains and a freight carrier. While one of the passenger trains was Coromandel Express en route to Chennai from Shalimar, Howrah, West Bengal, the other one was travelling from Bengaluru to Howrah. These trains were travelling through Odisha and during the night hours on Friday- they crashed on each other and derailed near the Bahanaga Bazar rail station in Odisha.

The major crash had drawn a sharp attention from across and beyond the nation and has become the latest addition in the long line of deadly crashes that the country has witnessed. It is first such fatal crash in two decades and as two passenger trains were derailed, the death toll had quicked increased and it is feared that the number of fatalities would surge even as the rescue operations have been in full swing. 

According to reports, over 250 people have been died so far while over thousand people have been injured. They have been rushed to several hospitals and as the trains carried passengers from several states including West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, the governments of these states have also joined the rescue mission and expediting the rescue measures, amid responding to the emergency calls from the people who were dismayed about the whereabouts of their loved ones who were on board. 

The Union government had also beefed up the mechanism to rescue the people who are trapped under the derailed coaches. Union Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw has reached the crash site and taken stock of the fatal accident and the rescue measures. Along with the Odisha rescue teams, the government had also deployed more personnel from National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to the site to help the rescue mission. 

Expressing his condolences to the bereaving families, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday morning chaired a high-level meeting that was also participated by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. In the meeting, the Prime Minister was briefed about the triple-train accident and it has been reported that Narendra Modi will visit the crash site directly on Saturday. 

More shocking visuals are getting emerged from the site and they trigger more agony and sparked a debate about fixing the prevailing safety infrastructure in the railways, though the Indian government has been investing more on the railways in recent years, with enhancing the facilities and services. Entire nation was taken aback by the fatal crash and the Odisha government has announced a day of mounring on Saturday to pay respects to the deceased. 

Earlier on Saturday, Odisha's Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena took to Twitter and said that 233 people were died in the crash. However, within some hours, the death toll rose to over 250 as the visuals showed the line-up of corpses. Officials in the rescue said that hundreds of ambulances were on standby and the Indian government has sent two teams of doctors from AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences), Bhubaneshwar, Odisha to treat the injured people. 

After visiting the spot, Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw told reporters that he had ordered a high-level investigation to determine the cause of the crash. He said, "Our immediate focus is on rescue and relief. We will know more after the inquiry." The Tamil Nadu government has suspended all the government-related events to take part in the national mourning. Chief Minister MK Stalin said that a team from the state with two ministers and officials had rushed to Odisha to aid the rescue operation and the government has also installed an emergency operational centre to address the emergency calls. 

By the time of writing this content, the death toll has increased to 261. South Eastern Railway said, "As per the information received till now, there are 261 casualties. Injured passengers have been taken to the Hospitals of Gopalpur, Khantapara, Balasore, Bhadrak and Soro." As the crash has made headlines beyond India, several global leaders have extended their condolences. 

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said, "I am deeply saddened by the news of the loss of many precious lives and the injuries in the train accident in the State of Odisha. On behalf of the Government of Japan and people, I would like to express our heartfelt condolences to those who lost their lives and their bereaved families. I also pray for the speedy recovery of those who were injured." British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly took to Twitter and wrote, "Tragic news of the train crash in India. My heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims. My thoughts are with the survivors and emergency services."