A passenger, who claimed to have survived the triple train crash in Odisha’s Balasore on Friday, said he was almost crushed under 10 to 15 people before he found a way out of the derailed coach he was in. Once out, he noticed he was surrounded by bodies with severed limbs and smashed faces.
The man, whose identity could not be confirmed, told news agency ANI that he had suffered injuries to his hand, neck and shoulders. He said he had been sitting close to the accident site since he managed to get out of a derailed coach of one of the passenger trains involved in the crash.
#WATCH | Balasore, Odisha: A passenger who was in one of the derailed trains tells about the moment when the horrific train accident took place leaving hundreds injured so far. pic.twitter.com/z9MWc0T5mA— ANI (@ANI) June 2, 2023
The man said he was travelling in a coach with “almost general compartment-like reservation” and was nodding off when the accident happened. He was suddenly jerked awake by the sound of the crash and, before he could respond, there were 10 to 15 people on top of him as the coach had derailed and overturned.
“I was nodding off when the accident happened and the coach derailed. I was suddenly awake and, before I could do something, I was almost crushed by 10 to 15 people on top of me. We were in a bogie where the reservation was like a general compartment. There’s a lot of pain in my arms, neck and shoulders. When I was able to come out of the bogie, I saw some bodies lying around with severed limbs and smashed faces. I’ve been sitting here since I got out,” he told ANI in broken Hindi.
The accident has claimed at least 50 lives with over 350 injured. The incident took place in Balasore district involving the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express and a goods train, officials said.
Local village residents have, however, claimed that the number of dead could be nearer 100.
Officials said several coaches of the Bengaluru-Howrah train travelling to Howrah derailed at Bahanaga Baazar, near Balasore, and fell on adjacent tracks. “These derailed coaches collided with 12841 Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express and its coaches capsized too,” a senior official said.
A goods train was also involved in the accident as the coaches of the Coromandel Express hit its wagons after getting derailed, the official said. The accident happened around 7 pm, the official added.
Over 350 people have been admitted to different hospitals across the district, while all private and government hospitals are on alert in nearby districts, including state capital Bhubaneswar. So far, 50 bodies could be brought out from under the overturned coaches, officials said.
(With PTI inputs)