Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Railways Minister, on Saturday arrived at the accident site in Balasore, Odisha, to assess the situation and provide assurance of a thorough investigation into the mishap. So far 288 people have lost their lives in the accident.
According to news agency ANI, Vaishnaw stated: “We will conduct a comprehensive high-level inquiry, and an independent investigation will be carried out by the rail safety commissioner.”
“Our focus is on rescue and relief operations. Restoration will begin after clearance from the district administration,” the railway minister was quoted as speaking to newsagency ANI.
Odisha’s chief secretary, Pradeep Jena, confirmed on Saturday that the collision between a passenger train and a freight train in Balasore district resulted in a tragic loss of at least 233 lives and left 900 individuals injured.
Late last night, a significant incident occurred when 10-12 coaches of the Chennai-bound Coromandel Express derailed and collided with an adjacent track, obstructing the path of another train traveling from Yeswanthpur to Howrah near Balasore in Odisha.
Speaking on the accident he called it tragic and said, “It’s a big tragic accident. Railway, NDRF, SDRF, and State govt are conducting the rescue operation. The best possible healthcare facilities will be provided.”
He further said, “Compensation was announced on Friday. A high-level committee has also been formed to inquire about it.”
In the morning Vaishnaw reached the accident spot and took stock of the situation at the accident site in Balasore where a search and rescue operation is underway.
Vaishnaw also ordered a high-level probe into the derailment on Friday night. Meanwhile, Union Minister of Education and Skill Development, Dharmendra Pradhan also cut short his visit to Kolkata in West Bengal and left for Balasore in Odisha where several coaches of a passenger train derailed after colliding with a goods carriage.