Bhubaneswar: Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Saturday reached the spot of the tragic train derailment in Odisha’s Balasore district that claimed the lives of 233 people and took stock of the situation.
Speaking to reporters at the accident spot, Vaishnaw 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. All machinery required for the restoration work have been kept ready at Soro, Balasore.”
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.
Asked about the reason behind the massive accident which also left more than 900 people injured, he said: “The reason can be ascertained only after completion of the inquiry.”
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has also reached the accident site to review the situation and rescue operation.
He has declared one-day state of mourning.
“In view of the tragic rail accident at Bahanaga, Hon’ble Chief Minister, Sri Naveen Patnaik has ordered for State Mourning for a day. Hence no State celebration to take place on 3rd June throughout the State,” the Odisha Information and Public Relations Department said.
Rescue operation is still going on.
The 17 overturned coaches of the Coromandel Express and SMVT-Howrah Super Fast Express are being removed to see whether anyone is still trapped under the coaches.