Two passenger trains and a freight train collided on Friday in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, resulting in over 260 fatalities and close to 1,000 injuries.
The actual cause of the disaster, according to the New York Times, was still unknown as of Saturday afternoon, but at least 17 cars from each of the two passenger trains derailed. There were reportedly more than 2,200 people on both passenger trains.
According to a preliminary report released by the Asian nation’s government on Friday night, the collision is believed to have killed at than 261 people while injuring more than 900 others in varying degrees.
Due to the train’s fast speed and full speed, Sudhanshu Sarangi, the chief of the Odisha fire service, described the situation as “devastating.” “The other two trains were moving, but the goods train was stopped.”
India has a history of railway mishaps in recent years due to overcrowding and people waiting outside coaches to go to their destinations, but the tragedy from yesterday is the worst train catastrophe to occur in India in the previous 20 years.
While reassuring the bereaved families that rescue efforts were ongoing, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was at the crash scene to examine the damage together with other members of his cabinet, expressed sympathy to the families.
“Upset about the train crash in Odisha. My thoughts are with the grieving families during this difficult time. May those who were hurt quickly heal. I discussed the subject with Railway Minister @AshwiniVaishnaw over the phone. Rescue operations are in progress at the scene of the accident, and those impacted are receiving all available aid, Mr. Modi tweeted.