Rescue work this Friday included more than 115 ambulances and several fire units, authorities say.
More than 200 people were killed and hundreds more injured after several trains collided in India on Friday night, according to a local official, in what has been described as a “violent” accident.
Two passenger trains and a freight train collided in the city of Balasore, in the state of Odisha, according to a video statement from Chief State Secretary Pradeep Jena.
The impact killed at least 207 people and injured 900, Jena said on Twitter, citing the state disaster management agency.
Amitabh Sharma, a spokesman for the Ministry of Railways, said 10 to 12 carriages of a train came off the tracks and the remains of some of the wrecked carriages fell onto a nearby track. The train was hit by another passenger train coming from the opposite direction.
Up to three carriages of the second train also derailed.
“The state government has provided all the resources that were needed and we have completed the evacuation of the injured,” Sarangi said.
“Now it’s about locating some more bodies that may have been trapped under these compartments,” he added.
Rescue work this Friday included more than 115 ambulances and several fire units, say authorities, who have yet to analyze the cause of the multiple accident, Jena told CNN affiliate News18.
“We’re just working (on) sending additional doctors, ambulances, buses, so we still haven’t stopped to wonder what happened, how it happened,” he said.
One of the trains involved in the accident is the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel express, which was carrying passengers from West Bengal, Banerjee said on Twitter.
The train travels across the east coast of India, between the West Bengal capital Kolkata and the southern Indian city of Chennai.
The accident shocked the country, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared a message on Twitter with his condolences: “Distressed by the train accident in Odisha. In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon. Rescue operations are underway at the crash site and all possible assistance is being provided to those affected,” he wrote.
India’s Minister of Railways, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology announced that around US$12,136 will be awarded as compensation to the families of the victims in case of death, and US$2,427 for those with serious injuries.
Additionally, those with minor injuries will receive $606.
India’s extensive rail network suffers from outdated infrastructure and poor maintenance, factors that are often responsible for accidents.
Local authorities say rescue teams have been dispatched to the crash site, and efforts include more than 50 ambulances and several fire units.
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