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Odisha: Death toll rises to 238; Railways Minister orders high-level probe: CM Patnaik visits injured

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The death toll of the tragic train accident in Balasore’s Bahanaga station in Odisha has risen to 238, and around 900 are feared critically injured. Informing this, Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena said the death and causality toll would increase as rescue operations were underway at the site. He said the body identification has been carried out as per the procedures.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik took stock of the situation this morning at the site of the train accident. He visited Balasore District Hospital to supervise the treatment of injured persons.

The bodies of some persons have been handed over to their families and relatives. Seven NDRFs, five ODRFs, 24 fire service units, and local police and volunteers are currently carrying out the rescue operation. He said another two or three hours would take to complete the rescue operations, as two coaches of the Coromandel Express and SMVT-Howrah Super Fast Express are being removed to see whether anyone is still trapped under the coaches.

Meanwhile, Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, who is on the accident site and reviewing the rescue operations said, our prime focus is on rescue and proper treatment of the injured persons, and dissemination of proper information of the passengers to their relatives. Restoration will begin after clearance from district administration and all machinery required for the restoration work have been kept ready at Soro, Balasore, he added.

The Union Minister also informed that a detailed high-level inquiry will be conducted and the rail safety commissioner will also carry out an independent inquiry into the accident deemed as one of the worst the country has witnessed in the last 15 years. The reason can be ascertained only after completion of the inquiry, the Minister added.

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