The aftermath of a tragic train collision in East India has seen a tragic rise in fatalities, with at least 288 reported deaths and more than 900 injuries. Officials fear there may be more victims still trapped in the wreckage.
Sudanshu Sarangi, the Fire Service Director General in the state of Odisha, told the Agence France-Presse (AFP), “The number continues to rise due to the multitude of severe and head injuries.” Pradeep Jena, a local official in Odisha, added in a statement to AFP that approximately “850 injured individuals have been transported to hospitals.”
The Coromandel Express, a train traveling from Kolkata to Chennai, collided with another passenger train, the Hora Supravat Express. This severe collision led to the devastating scenario currently unfolding.
Photos from the accident site show rescue workers climbing through the debris of one of the trains in search of survivors. Hundreds of local youths have also been seen queuing up outside a government hospital in the state to donate blood, contributing to the rescue efforts.
According to the South Eastern Railway authorities, the Hora Supravat Express derailed and crashed into the Coromandel Express.
Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha, highlighted that the priority of the authorities is to “transport the living to the hospitals; this is our first concern.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on Friday that the rescue operations are ongoing at the site, and “all possible assistance” is being provided to the affected individuals.