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"Immediate task is of rescue and relief...questions can wait": Mallikarjun Kharge on Odisha train accident
New Delhi: Congress Chief Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday said that he has instructed the entire Congress party organisation to extend all possible help to the victims of a disastrous train accident in Odisha's Balasore.
"Irrespective of the political parties, at this moment of grave national tragedy on account of the terrible train disaster in Odisha, I have instructed the entire Congress party organisation to extend all possible and needed help," he said. Kharge further expressed his condolences over the Odisha train tragedy and stated that while questions about the incident can be addressed later, the primary focus should be on providing assistance to those affected.
"We have many questions to ask Prime Minister Narendra Modi but those can wait since the immediate task is of rescue and relief," Kharge said in a statement.
He urged all authorities to work together seamlessly to ensure the safety and well-being of the victims.
Kharge's remarks came as he acknowledged the gravity of the situation and highlighted the importance of swift and effective action to mitigate the impact of the tragedy.
The accident involved two passenger trains- Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Coromandel Express and a goods train on three separate tracks at Bahanaga Bazar Station in Balasore district.
Seventeen coaches of the passenger trains were de-railed and severely damaged in the accident that took place on Friday evening.
According to the preliminary report by the State Emergency Operation Centre, over 900 people were injured and at least 288 lost their lives.
Seven National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Teams, five Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) Units and 24 Fire Services and Emergency Units engaged in rescue operations.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) deployed Mi-17 helicopters for the evacuation of the deceased and injured. According to the Eastern Command, IAF is coordinating the rescue efforts with the civil administration and Indian Railways. (ANI)