“High-level inquiry will be conducted,” Ashwini Vaishnaw on Odisha’s Balasore train accident
3 June, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma
Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw visited the accident site in Odisha's Balasore on Saturday, taking stock of the situation and promising a thorough high-level investigation into the mishap.
Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw visited the accident site in Odisha’s Balasore on Saturday, taking stock of the situation and promising a thorough high-level investigation into the mishap.
“A detailed high-level inquiry will be conducted and the rail safety commissioner will also do an independent inquiry,” Vaishnaw said. “Our focus is on rescue and relief operations. Restoration will begin after clearance from the district administration,” he said.
After the collision between the passenger train and a freight train in Odisha’s Balasore district on Friday, at least 233 people were dead and 900 injured, Odisha chief secretary Pradeep Jena confirmed on Saturday.
Notably, 10-12 coaches of the Chennai-bound Coromandel Express derailed and fell on an adjacent track in the path of another train from Yeswanthpur to Howrah near Balasore in Odisha late last night.
Speaking on the accident he called it tragic and said, “It’s a big tragic accident. Railway, NDRF, SDRF, and State govt are conducting the rescue operation. The best possible healthcare facilities will be provided.”
He further said, “Compensation was announced on Friday. A high-level committee has also been formed to inquire about it.”
Vaishnaw arrived at the accident site in Balasore early in the morning to assess the situation. A search and rescue operation is underway.
On Friday night, Vaishnaw also ordered a high-level investigation into the derailment.
Meanwhile, Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Education and Skill Development, cut short his visit to Kolkata, West Bengal, and left for Balasore, Odisha, where several coaches of a passenger train derailed after colliding with a goods carriage.
Following the train derailment, the Odisha government declared Saturday a day of mourning.
The Goa-Mumbai Vande Bharat Express’s flagging-off ceremony has been cancelled, according to Konkan Railway officials, due to the tragic accident in Odisha.
After colliding with a goods train, several coaches of the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed near Bahanaga station in Odisha’s Balasore district.
The accident happened around 7 p.m. on Friday, according to Railway spokesperson Amitabh Sharma.
“Around 7 pm, 10-12 coaches of the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed near Baleswar and fell on the opposite track. After some time, another train from Yeswanthpur to Howrah dashed into those derailed coaches resulting in the derailment of its 3-4 coaches,” Sharma told ANI.