India train disaster leaves 288 dead: PM Modi visits Odisha
Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi
Modern Tokyo Times
Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India visited the scene of the tragic train crash in Odisha state. He looked visibly shocked by the events that killed so many people.
Modi said, “Words can’t capture my deep sorrow.”
It is known that 288 people were killed in this tragic accident involving two passenger trains and a stationary goods train. Over 800 people are reported injured.
Modi – after visiting the hospital caring for the injured – vowed: “no stone unturned for the treatment of those injured.”
The BBC reports, “Officials say several carriages from the Coromandel Express, traveling between Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) and Chennai (formerly Madras), derailed at about 19:00 (13:30 GMT) after hitting a stationary goods train. It remains unclear how the Express ended up on the same track as the goods train.
In turn, several coaches from the Coromandel Express landed on the opposite track where the Howrah Superfast Express was traveling (Yesvantpur to Howrah). Accordingly, this train collided with derailed carriages from the Coromandel Express.
The Guardian reports, “Thousands took part in the rescue operation, which saw the National Disaster Response Force, state government teams, the air force, fire department personnel, police officers and sniffer dogs brought in to pull survivors from the chaos of twisted metal and broken glass, working in sweltering heat.”
The number of dead people entailed that the local Bahanaga High School was turned into a morgue until other places could be found.
While many locals helped the injured and in the rescue mission, the other dark side of humanity was witnessed.
Accordingly, despite hundreds of people dying, some people (Sayantani Ghosh – a passenger involved in the tragic crash) took the chance to loot and run away with bags.
Sayantani Ghosh said: “Some villagers picked up some of those unattended bags and ran away in the darkness… This was shocking. They stole the valuables of the people who were victims of the accident.”
The most likely cause of this tragic event is signal failure – and other failures within the system when trains derail.
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