Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday claimed that the people of the state have saved over 1,000 human lives in the Balasore train crash as they swung into action immediately after the accident. People providing support to rescue operations and the long queues for blood donation are ”sights rare but invaluable”. He was speaking at a function where 1,205 medical officers joined the state government.
After observing one-minute silence in memory of those who lost their lives in the tragedy, Patnaik said the efforts of locals have manifested the compassion and humanity of the people of Odisha. ”Doctors, medical students, general public, and all had one thing in mind – Let’s save life as many as we can. And we have saved more than a thousand lives. People providing support to rescue operations and the long queues for blood donation are sights rare but invaluable. I am proud of my people. I am proud of Odisha,” the chief minister said.
Recalling the train accident, the CM said that everyone is aware of the tragedy in Balasore that shook the nation, even the world. ”It’s a time of immense grief and sorrow. But, this accident has proved the strength of Odisha, its ability to rise to the expectation during the time of crisis,” he said. During the day, the state government revised the death toll in the Balasore train crash to 288.
Speaking to reporters, Chief Secretary PK Jena said 275 deaths were confirmed till Monday, and after verification of bodies, the figure was raised to 288. Jena said that 205 bodies of the total toll have been identified so far and handed over to their families.
The remaining 83 bodies were kept at AIIMS-Bhubaneswar and other hospitals for identification, he said. Patnaik also claimed that the state administration came into action mode the very moment the news of the accident surfaced.
”Ministers, top officers, supporting staff..all were at the site of accident and health centres, making arrangements and monitoring the rescue operation and treatment of injured,” he said. Noting that Odisha has succeeded in managing cyclones and COVID-19 with long and medium-term strategies, Patnaik said the state has now proved that ”it is equally capable of managing such a crisis”.
The Coromandel Express crashed into a stationary goods train, derailing most of its coaches at 7 pm on June 2. A few coaches of Coromandel toppled over the last few coaches of the Bengaluru-Howrah Express which was passing by at the same time.
Investigators are looking into possible human error, signal failure and other possible causes behind the three-train crash.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)