Balasore, Odisha: A catastrophic train accident unfolded in the evening of Friday, resulting in the tragic loss of over 120 lives and leaving around 850 people injured. The accident occurred when 17 coaches of two express trains, the Coromandel Express and the SMVT-Howrah Super Fast Express, derailed in Balasore district.

Odisha Fire Service Director General, Sudhanshu Sarangi, who is overseeing the rescue operations at the accident site, confirmed the distressing death toll. He further stated that the number of casualties is expected to rise as the rescue and recovery efforts continue.

Rescue operations have been in full swing, with authorities working tirelessly to pull survivors from the wreckage. Sarangi mentioned that trapped passengers have been successfully rescued and transported to nearby hospitals for medical treatment. Currently, the focus is on removing the derailed coaches to ensure no one is trapped beneath them.

Crane operators have been employed to lift the overturned coaches carefully. This step is crucial in ascertaining whether any individuals are still trapped underneath the wreckage, Sarangi explained.

Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena provided an update on the injured victims, informing the public that over 850 individuals have been admitted to various hospitals in the vicinity. He emphasized that rescue operations are being conducted with utmost urgency and expressed hope that the operation would be completed by Saturday morning.

Multiple organizations, including the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), and the Odisha Fire Service, have been actively involved in the rescue efforts. In addition, several volunteer organizations have come forward to lend their assistance.

The authorities have mobilized more than 200 ambulances and 30 buses to facilitate the transportation of injured individuals to hospitals. Balasore, Bhadrak, and Mayurbhanj district Superintendents of Police (SPs) and Collectors, alongside numerous senior officials, are present at the accident site to expedite the rescue operations.

Chief Secretary Jena highlighted the mobilization of additional doctors and the alert status of hospitals in the surrounding areas. Every effort is being made to provide the best possible medical care to the injured victims. He expressed prayers and hopes that those who are still trapped under the derailed coaches will be found alive.

The Chief Secretary also mentioned that instructions have been issued to district collectors to extend necessary assistance to passengers stranded at different stations due to the diversion or cancellation of other trains.

The train accident in Balasore has sent shockwaves across the region, prompting an outpouring of grief and solidarity from various quarters. Authorities continue to investigate the cause of the accident, aiming to establish the factors that led to this devastating incident.

As the nation mourns the lives lost in this tragedy, efforts to provide support and aid to the affected families and survivors remain ongoing. The focus now lies on completing the rescue operation, providing medical care, and ensuring that all necessary measures are taken to prevent such incidents in the future.

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