Bhubaneswar: More than 120 people have died in the tragic train accident in Odisha's Balasore district on Friday evening, in which 17 coaches of two express trains, Coromandel Express and SMVT-Howrah Super Fast Express, derailed.
This was informed by Odisha Fire Service Director General, Sudhanshu Sarangi, who is at the accident spot monitoring the rescue operations.
Speaking to mediapersons, Sarangi said, "As per our calculation, more than 120 persons have died in the tragic accident. The death toll is likely to go up."
"The rescue operation is almost complete. Those trapped within the coaches have been rescued and admitted to hospitals. We are now trying to remove the coaches to see whether any passenger is trapped under them," he added.
"Cranes have been engaged to pull up the coaches. We have to see if any body is lying under the overturned coaches," Sarangi said.
Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena said that more than 850 injured persons have been admitted to different hospitals in the nearby areas.
Jena also informed that rescue operations are going on in full swing.
"We hope that the rescue operation will be complete by Saturday morning," he added.
NDRF, ODRAF, Odisha Fire Service along with several volunteer organisations are conducting the rescue operations.
More than 200 ambulances along with 30 buses have been pressed into service, the Chief Secretary said.
Balasore, Bhadrak and Mayurbhanj district SPs and Collectors along with several senior officials are at the spot to expedite the rescue operations, he added.
"Additional doctors have been mobilised and hospitals in the nearby areas have been kept on alert. We are trying our best to provide best treatment to the injured persons," the Chief Secretary said.
"We pray to God that the people who are still trapped under the coaches remain alive," he said.
He also said that various district collectors have been asked to provide necessary help to the passengers stranded in different stations due to diversion/cancellation of other trains.