Odisha Train Tragedy: Questions and condolences

The crash in Odisha's Balasore district involving three trains is one of the worst rail accidents in India in nearly three decades

A crane removes the wreckage of a train from rail tracks on Sunday, June 03, 2023, in Balasore district, Odisha. (Photo: Abhishek Chinnappa/Getty Images)
A crane removes the wreckage of a train from rail tracks on Sunday, June 03, 2023, in Balasore district, Odisha. (Photo: Abhishek Chinnappa/Getty Images)

NH Digital

As the death toll from the horrific triple train accident in Odisha's Balasore district mounts to 288, with 1100 injured—reactions and condolences are pouring in from across the world.

The crash involving Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express and Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, which were carrying around 2,500 passengers, and a goods train occurred around 7 PM on Friday near the Bahanaga Bazar station in Balasore, about 250 km south of Kolkata and 170 km north of Bhubaneswar.

Investigators were on Saturday looking into any human error, signal failure and other possible causes behind the three-train crash. Preliminary investigations have revealed that a signal was given to Coromandel Express to enter the main line but it was taken off and the train entered the loop line and crashed into a goods train parked there.

US President Joe Biden on Saturday said he is heartbroken by the tragic news of a train crash in India that has killed nearly 300 people.

"(First Lady Dr) Jill (Biden) and I are heartbroken by the tragic news of the deadly train crash in India. Our prayers go out to those who have lost loved ones and the many who suffered injuries in this terrible incident. The United States and India share deep bonds rooted in the ties of family and culture that unite our two nations — and people all across America mourn alongside the people of India. As the recovery effort continues, we will hold the people of India in our thoughts," Biden said in a statement.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday expressed his condolences. "Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his condolences to President of India Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the deadly train collision in the Indian state of Odisha," Kremlin said in a statement.

"We share the grief of those who lost their loved ones in this tragic accident and wish a speedy recovery for those injured," was Putin's message.

On behalf of the Chinese government and people, President Xi Jingping expressed deep condolences to the victims, offered sympathies to the bereaved families and the injured, and wished the injured a speedy recovery, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak took to Twitter to express his condolences. "My thoughts and prayers are with @narendramodi and with all affected by the tragic events in Odisha. My deepest condolences to the family and friends of those killed, and my heartfelt support and admiration to the survivors and those working tirelessly to respond," he wrote.

"My deepest condolences to President Murmu, Prime Minister Modi and the people of India after the tragic train accident in Odisha. France stands in solidarity with you. My thoughts are with the families of the victims," tweeted French president Emmanuel Macron.

Former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah on Saturday extended their condolences to the families of those killed in the Odisha train accident.

"Shocked to hear about the train accident in Odisha. Words aren’t enough words to convey my sympathies to the families of those who lost their live. Heads should have rolled by now, but in today's India no one is accountable," tweeted Mufti.

"The images & survivor accounts from the railway crash site in Odisha are horrific. The accident has left countless individuals scarred & families bereaved. Words are poor consolation at a time like this but I’d like to convey my sympathies to the families of the deceased & prayers for those injured. May the almighty give them strength," tweeted Abdullah.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has expressed sadness at the loss of lives in the tragic train accident. "The Secretary-General is deeply saddened by the loss of life and injury in a train accident in Odisha, India," a statement issued by the spokesperson for the Secretary-General, Stephane Dujarric, said on Saturday.

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