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India: At least 50 dead after multiple Train collision in Odisha

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At least 50 people have been killed and hundreds injured in a multiple train collision in India’s eastern Odisha state, local officials say.

Dozens of ambulances were sent to the scene in Balasore district, the state’s chief secretary, Pradeep Jena, said.

One passenger train is thought to have derailed before being struck by another on the adjacent track.

Indian Railways said the two services involved were the Coromandel Express and the Howrah Superfast Express.

“About 50 people have died and over 500 injured. Our top priority now is rescuing (the passengers) and providing health support to the injured,” Mr Jena told the AFP news agency.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was distressed by Friday evening’s incident, and his thoughts were with the bereaved families.

“Rescue ops are underway at the site of the mishap and all possible assistance is being given to those affected,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah labelled the incident “deeply agonising”.

It is believed that several carriages from the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed at around 19:00 local time (13:30 GMT), with several carriages ending up on the opposite track.

Another train – the Howrah Superfast Express travelling from Yesvantpur to Howrah – is then thought to have hit the overturned carriages.

Some surviving passengers were seen rushing in to help rescue those trapped in the wreckage.

Rescue efforts were planned to continue into the night.

Rail accidents are relatively common in India – occurring several hundred times a year, according to the Associated Press news agency.


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