Last Updated: June 03, 2023, 18:27 IST
The Tamil Nadu government has made arrangements to ensure the return of the stranded and injured passengers from Odisha, and a high-level delegation comprising ministers Udayanidhi Stalin and Sivasankar, along with officials, has been sent to coordinate rescue and relief.
“Udayanadhi Stalin and Sivasankar, along with three IAS officials, reached the accident spot in the morning. Since then, they have been searching for people who need immediate medical attention and helping those who have minor injuries. So far, we have information that not many from the state are injured or have died,” said an additional chief secretary.
“We have received information that there is no Tamil native admitted in any hospital in Balasore, which is the epicentre of the accident involving two passenger trains and one goods train. The team will visit Cuttack and check for patients who need special care in the hospitals in the city. If there are such patients, they will be air-lifted to Chennai city in the evening today,” said the official.
He added that a special train with passengers who have minor injuries will reach Chennai city on Sunday. “Medical teams are ready in Chennai Central Station to provide any medical help. Once the train reaches Central, based on the need, the passengers will be sent to various hospitals in the city and provided good medical care,” said the official.
“We have not got any report of anybody from Tamil Nadu among the identified dead bodies till now. There are a large number of unidentified bodies for which the Railways is running a train from Chennai in the evening,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu government announced one-day mourning on Saturday and cancelled all government functions. The ruling DMK, which had announced the start of centenary celebrations of the late M Karunanidhi, postponed the celebrations. Chief Minister MK Stalin instead paid homage at his father’s memorial.
He visited the control room at the Southern Railway headquarters and heard from the Railway officials the steps taken to bring back passengers who are injured. The state government has also announced Rs 5 lakh to the kin of those who have died in the accident and this is apart from the Centre’s compensation.