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Odisha train accident: "We are working on restoring tracks," says Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan
Balasore: Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday said that the rescue teams are working on the restoration of tracks after the tragic train accident in Odisha's Balasore.
Speaking to ANI, Dharmendra Pradhan said, "NDRF, ODRF and Railway teams have worked all night for the identification of the deceased and restoration of tracks. Union Health Minister has reached Odisha, he will visit hospitals and take stock of the situation. Many trains have been cancelled and diverted. We are working on the restoration of the tracks". He said that the victims are being treated and more patients have been admitted in Cuttack as compared to other places.
"Initially, over 1000 people had got injured. Some needed preliminary treatment, while some had fractures and needed further treatment. Some are still critical. They are being treated at various hospitals in Bhadrak, Balasore and Cuttack, some are also in AIIMS," he said.
The Union Minister also commended the efforts and help provided by the common people in helping during the operation.
"The local people have also done a very commendable job. During the initial 3-4 hours, the rescue operation started under local people only. Later, NDRF, ODRAF and other security teams came. Blood donation was also carried out in large numbers," he added.
Notably, several people had queued up to donate blood for the victims at the hospitals.
Meanwhile, as per the official figures, the accident left 288 people dead and over 1000 injured.
The three-way accident involved Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Coromandel Express and a goods train on three separate tracks at Bahanaga Bazar Station in the Balasore district.
Aditya Kumar Chaudhary, the Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO), South Eastern Railway said that the restoration work is underway at the site.
"Capsized bogies have been removed...2 bogies of goods train also have been removed...work of connecting track is going on from one side...will finish the work as soon as possible," he said.
As per the Ministry of Railways, the restoration work is going in full swing and the officials are closely monitoring the restoration process at the accident site.
A manpower of over 1000 people engaged in the work. More than 7 Poclain Machines, 2 Accident Relief Trains, 3-4 Railway and Road Cranes deployed, the ministry stated.
Seven National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Teams, five Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) Units and 24 Fire Services and Emergency units were involved 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 coordinated with the rescue efforts with the civil administration and Indian Railways.
The preliminary report on the tragedy said the three-way accident involved Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Coromandel Express and a goods train on three separate tracks at Bahanaga Bazar Station in Balasore district.
As many as 17 coaches of these two passenger trains were derailed and severely damaged in the accident on Friday evening. (ANI)