Prime Minister Narendra Modi Promises Stringent Punishment for Guilty Parties in Eastern India’s Deadly Rail Accident

3 min readJun 4, 2023
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Promises Stringent Punishment for Guilty Parties in Eastern India's Deadly Rail Accident

Odisha State, Eastern India — In the wake of a tragic rail accident that claimed the lives of at least 288 people and left over 800 injured, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed that those found responsible will face severe consequences. The incident, which occurred on Friday in Odisha state, involved two passenger trains and a goods train, resulting in one of the deadliest rail accidents the country has witnessed this century.

Rescue operations have now concluded, with officials confirming that all trapped and injured passengers have been successfully recovered. Prime Minister Modi, who visited the scene of the devastation, expressed his deep sorrow over the incident, labeling it a “painful” tragedy. He also took the time to meet with victims in local hospitals, offering his condolences and assuring them that no effort would be spared in providing them with the necessary medical treatment.

The exact cause of the multi-train collision in Balasore district remains uncertain, prompting an ongoing investigation into the incident. While Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has attributed the collision to “technical reasons,” conflicting accounts have made it difficult to establish a clear sequence of events leading to the catastrophe. According to officials, several carriages of the Coromandel Express, which was traveling between Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) and Chennai (formerly Madras), derailed after colliding with a stationary goods train at approximately 19:00 (13:30 GMT). It is still unclear how the Express ended up on the same track as the goods train.

The derailment caused some of the Coromandel Express’s coaches to veer onto the opposite track, resulting in a collision with the Howrah Superfast Express traveling from Yesvantpur to Howrah. The impact of the collision caused extensive damage to several coaches, leaving them crushed and mangled, according to Atul Karwal, Chief of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

At the SCB Hospital’s trauma center in Cuttack, the sounds of ambulance sirens punctuate the air every 30 minutes as critically injured passengers continue to be brought in. Close to 200 individuals from the accident site have already been admitted, and the number is expected to rise. While the hospital is the largest in Odisha, it remains a three-hour drive from the accident site. The medical staff, ranging from junior doctors to nurses and ward boys, have formed organized groups, prepared to assist incoming patients. Additional wards have been opened to accommodate the influx of patients.

Amidst the chaos, family members of the injured anxiously await news of their loved ones’ conditions, praying for their recovery. Many are still searching for missing family members, unaware of their whereabouts. To aid those unable to locate their relatives, a dedicated counter has been established, though it remains crowded as concerned individuals consult the lengthy lists.

The aftermath of this tragic rail accident serves as a grim reminder of the importance of thorough investigations and ensuring accountability for such incidents. Prime Minister Modi’s commitment to punishing those found guilty sends a strong message that safety and security must always be prioritized in India’s rail network. As the affected communities grapple with the aftermath, the nation stands united in support and solidarity, offering condolences to the bereaved and hoping for the speedy recovery of those injured in this devastating incident.

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