KABUL: At least 280 people were killed and 1,000 are injured in a crash on Friday involving three trains in India’s eastern Odisha state, Indian officials say. It involved a passenger train derailing on to the adjacent track and striking an incoming train and then hitting a nearby stationary freight train.
It is India’s worst train crash this century. But there is a deep divide in India about causes of the crash. Officials blame human error, but many assume technical malfunction caused the crash. It sounds the terrifying alarm bells for India to upgrade its dilapidated railway infrastructure.
The Odisha train accident has reverberated globally. The Taliban’s foreign affairs ministry in a tweet expressed condolences to India and victims of the train collision in eastern Odisha.
A massive rescue operation was launched, with hundreds of emergency services searching the wreckage.
It is India’s worst train crash this century and the cause is not yet clear.
Meanwhile, initial reports from the signalling control room of the railways suggest that the accident may have caused by human error. According to the video footage from the signalling control room of the Kharagpur division of the Railways, the train apparently took the wrong track, minutes before the accident occurred. Instead of following the main line, the Chennai-bound Coromandel Express mistakenly entered a loop line where a goods train was parked, shortly after passing Bahanagar Bazar station at approximately 6:55 pm on Friday. Prime Minister Modi also left for Odisha to take stock of the situation in the wake of the triple train accident. “PM Narendra Modi is leaving for Odisha where he will review the situation in the wake of the train mishap,” PMO tweeted. Earlier, he chaired a high-level meeting to take stock of the situation in Odisha.