On February 2 (local time), a train collision occurred in the Balasore district of the eastern Indian state of Odisha. A portion of a passenger train derailed and crashed into another passenger train on an adjacent track, and then into a stationary freight train. More than 280 people are believed to have been killed and 900 injured in the accident.
Reuters and the New York Times (NYT) called it “the worst train accident in India in the past 20 years,” and CNN called it “one of the worst rail disasters in India’s history.”
The scene of a train collision in Balasore, Odisha, eastern India, on June 3./Reuters
Photos from the scene released by local media and others show several train carriages lying crumpled and twisted. Some carriages were so badly damaged that they were unrecognizable. Passengers were jostled and knocked down, many trapped inside the carriages. The impact of the crash also reportedly threw some passengers out of the windows and crushed others under the carriages.
Efforts to rescue survivors and recover the bodies of the deceased are ongoing, but the scene is still a mess. Passengers’ suitcases, shoes, and belongings are strewn around the site. Dozens of bodies covered in white sheets are piled next to the train wreckage. Ambulances, as well as cars and tractors of local residents who have come to help transport the injured to hospitals, can be seen lined up around the tracks.
The scene of a train accident in Balasore, Odisha, eastern India, June 3. /Reuters
The horrific scene was also described by survivors and eyewitnesses. Anubhav Das, a surviving passenger on the Coromandel Express traveling from Shalimar in the northeast to Chennai in the south at the time of the crash, described the devastation on Twitter, writing, “Without exaggeration, I have witnessed the deaths of more than 200 people,” he said.
“Families were crushed (in the carriages), bodies with severed limbs were strewn about. The train tracks were a sea of blood,” he said, adding, “It was a (horrific) sight that I will never forget.” “I am very thankful that I escaped unharmed,” he said, adding that he wished God’s best to the survivors and victims.
“When I came out of the restroom, the train suddenly tilted, and I lost my balance instantly,” surviving passenger Bandana Carreda told the Associated Press. “People started falling on top of each other,” she said, adding, “I was very shocked, I couldn’t understand what was happening, it was like my mind just stopped.” “I feel lucky to be alive,” she added.
“I woke up with a jolt in my sleep,” said a passenger who wished to remain anonymous, “and saw other passengers with broken limbs and severe injuries to their faces.”
People rescue a survivor at the scene of a train collision in Balasore district of Odisha, eastern India, on June 2./Yonhap
Others said they were helped by local residents who rushed to their aid after hearing about the crash. “The locals risked their lives to help us,” said survivor Rupam Banerjee. “They pulled passengers out of the train and rescued them. They helped people with their luggage and brought them water to drink.”
“I heard a deafening noise,” Ashok Samal, who owns a shop near the crash site, told the Hindustan Times. “I immediately rushed to the tracks and saw the mangled trains lying on top of each other.” “There was blood everywhere, screaming,” he said. “There were several bodies under the train, and people trapped in the carriages were crying out for help.”
Some of the residents who rushed to the scene were anxiously waiting for loved ones토토사이트. “Help me find my son,” Ravindra Shah, 53, cried, “If he is dead, at least help me find his body.” “Help me find my son,” he said.
Sheikh Zakir Hussain, 35, told the Guardian that he was waiting for news from his brother and nephew. “When I heard about the accident, I called them, but their phones were switched off,” he said. “I went from one hospital to another, but I couldn’t hear from them,” he added. “There were piles of bodies at the accident site. We identified more than 100 bodies, but none of them were my brother or nephew.”
Toton Shek was one of those who rushed to the crash site in search of his nephew. “It was like hell with piles of bodies,” he says, “I’m still looking for him. I’m still looking for him, hoping that somewhere, somehow, he will be found alive.”
Passengers injured in a train crash sit at a hospital in Balasore in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, India, March 3 (local time). /AP
Hospitals near the crash site are overflowing with the dead and injured, the Guardian reported. “Many people have suffered severe injuries to their entire body, some have lost limbs,” a doctor said, adding, “More than 20 of the injured people I have been attending to have passed away during treatment.” “The hospital is overflowing with injured people, bodies and patients are lying on the floor in the corridors (due to lack of space),” he said, adding that “doctors are moving from one patient to another.”
Meanwhile, authorities are mobilizing more than 1,200 personnel, including rescue workers, and more than 200 support vehicles to carry out rescue and body recovery efforts. Authorities are also conducting an investigation to determine the exact cause of the accident.
“My condolences to the bereaved families,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter, adding that he was “looking into the situation in consultation with Union Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnau”. “Rescue operations are underway and we will provide all possible assistance to the passengers affected by this incident.”