Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Bishweswar Tudu on Sunday expressed grief over the Balasore train accident that claimed at least 275 lives and said that till all the passengers are sent home safely, three Union ministers including Railway Minister Ashiwini Vaishnaw will be camping in Odisha.
“I had heard of minor train derailments or incidents but the way all three trains met with an accident, it was unfortunate and unexpected,” Union Minister Tudu told.
Union Minister Tudu reacted over the demand for the resignation of Ashwini Vaishnaw and said an accident is an accident, it was unexpected, it did not happen intentionally and it is a matter of investigation.
“We (Railway Minister Ashiwini Vaishnaw and Dharmendra Pradhan) will remain in Balasore until all the passengers are brought back to their homes safe and sound and all the dead bodies are not handed over to their relatives,” he said.
The Balasore train accident where two passenger trains and a goods carriage were involved claimed 275 lives so far while over 1,000 people sustained injuries.
“To find out the exact reason for the accident the investigation has begun. There will be two or three types of investigation, technical experts will come, they will see what was the reason for the accident, apart from this, whether the standards regarding safety and security of the railways have not been adopted,” he mentioned.
He further said the work of the rescue operation has been completed and restoration work is underway and it will also be completed in three-four days.
Union Minister Tudu further spoke about the high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“PM Narendra Modi had come to Balasore on Saturday and had a high-level meeting with top officials, administrative officers and took stock of the train accident,” he said.
He further mentioned that another meeting was held in which Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Ashwini Vaishnaw, top officials and administrative officers were present and reviewed the entire subject.
“The injured have been sent to hospitals of Baripada, Baleshwar, Bhadrak, and Cuttack for treatment and those who had minor injuries have been treated and sent home,” he said.
The relatives and people who have identified the bodies have been handed over to them and apart from this, arrangements have also been made to keep 160 dead bodies, he added.
He said Rs 10 lakh will be given to the relatives of those who have died, Rs 2 lakh to seriously injured and those who have minor injuries will be given up to Rs 50,000.
The preliminary report on the tragedy said the three-way accident involved Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Coromandel Express and goods train on three separate tracks at Bahanaga Bazar Station in Balasore district. As many as 17 coaches of these two passenger trains were derailed and severely damaged in the accident on Friday evening. (ANI)