Odisha train crash: Survivors recount tales of horror
Over 200 people were killed and about 900 injured in a horrific train crash in Odisha, involving the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express and a goods train, officials said on Saturday (June 3).
The train accident, one of the biggest in India in recent times, happened near the Bahanaga Baazar station in Balasore district, about 250 km south of Kolkata and 170 km north of Bhubaneswar, around 7 pm on Friday.
What survivors say
Locals said they heard consecutive loud sounds, following which they rushed to the spot and found the derailed coaches, which were nothing but “a mangled heap of steel”.
“The local people really went out on a limb to help us… They not only helped pull out people but retrieved our luggage and got us water,” Rupam Banerjee, one of the passengers, told reporters.
Pijush Poddar, a resident of Berhampore in West Bengals Murshidabad district, was travelling to Tamil Nadu on the Coromandel Express to join work there when the accident happened.
“We were jolted and suddenly saw the train bogie turn on one side. Many of us were thrown out of the compartment by the momentum of the derailment. When we managed to crawl out, we found bodies lying all around,” he said.
More than 2,000 people gathered at the Balasore Medical College and Hospital in the night to help the injured, and many also donated blood.
Chief Secretary Jena thanked the volunteers who donated blood to the accident victims in their hour of need.
“Five hundred units of blood collected overnight here at Balasore. Nine hundred units in stock at present. This will help in treating the accident victims. I am personally indebted & grateful to all the volunteers who’ve donated blood for a noble cause,” Jena tweeted.
Gas cutters were being used to bring out the bodies from under the derailed coaches. “Some of the scenes at the site were too gory to describe,” said another passenger.
Railway tracks were almost destroyed at the spot as mangled coaches lay strewn all over, with some having mounted on another, while a few bogies turned turtle due to the impact.
The railways announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh for the next of kin of the deceased, Rs 2 lakh for those grievously injured and Rs 50,000 for those who got minor injuries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi too expressed his distress over the accident, and announced an additional ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured from the PMs National Relief Fund (PMNRF).
(With Agency inputs)