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PM Modi reaches Odisha train accident site, to meet injured passengers in hospitals

PM Modi arrives at crash site in Balasore; to meet survivors in hospital.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today visited the site of the horrific train accident in Odisha’s Balasore in which at least 261 people lost their lives, and around 1,000 were injured.

After taking stock of the situation at the crash site, PM Modi will go to the hospitals in Cuttack where the victims are undergoing treatment, his office tweeted.

Earlier, the Prime Minister chaired a meeting in Delhi to review the situation in the wake rail accident. Home Minister Amit Shah was also present at the meeting which discussed aspects relating to rescue, relief and medical treatment for the victims of the colossal tragedy for those affected.

PM Modi has announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs. 2 lakh from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund PMNRF for the next of kin of each deceased person and Rs 50,000 for those injured in the train mishap.

Three trains had collided after one of the train’s coaches derailed in Balasore at 7 pm on Friday and fell on the adjacent tracks.

The crash involved the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express and a goods train.

As many as 17 coaches of the passenger trains were de-railed and severely damaged.

Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Saturday rushed to the accident spot in the morning to oversee the rescue and relief work. He has announced a high-level inquiry into the horrifying accident.

Vaishnaw said a detailed high-level inquiry will be conducted and the rail safety commissioner will also do an independent inquiry.

He said the rescue operation has been completed and restoration work has started.

“We will thoroughly investigate this incident and will ensure such incidents don’t happen in future,” he said.

The minister said it was a big tragic accident and added that the Railways, NDRF, SDRF, and state government were involved in the rescue operation.

“Best possible healthcare facilities will be provided. Compensation was announced yesterday. A high-level committee has been formed to inquire about it,” he said.

While the Odisha government declared one-day mourning, the BJP deferred the programmes to be held on Saturday in connection with the Modi government completing nine years in office. The inauguration of the Mumbai-Goa Vande Bharat Express today was also cancelled.

South Eastern Railway said that as per the information received till now there are 261 deaths and over 900 injured.

The injured passengers have been taken to hospitals in Gopalpur, Khantapara, Balasore,Bhadrak and Soro, it said.