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Update: Death toll reaches 261 in Indian train crash

Officials said on Saturday that at least 261 people had perished in India’s deadliest rail tragedy in more than 20 years, which occurred in the east of the nation after a passenger train veered off the rails and collided with another one.

In the accident on Friday, one train also struck an adjacent freight train that was halted in the Odisha state district of Balasore, causing a tangled mass of broken rail cars and wounding 650 people.

S. Anand, head public relations officer of South Eastern Railway, reported that there have been 261 fatalities. An official had earlier been quoted by the AFP news agency as stating 288 individuals had passed away.

Anubha Das, a survivor passenger, claimed he would never forget the event. “Families crushed away, limbless bodies, and a bloodbath on the tracks,” he alleged.

Rescue teams were seen combing the wrecked carriages in video footage to get the survivors out and rush them to the hospital. The video also revealed derailed train cars and damaged lines.

In the area of the hospital and the scene, people were observed looking for their families.

ANI news agency claimed, citing sources, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was flying to the area. One witness remarked, “We have witnessed a lot of deaths.

The shouts and wails of the injured and the loved ones of the deceased, according to another witness assisting in rescue efforts, were upsetting. He described it as “horrific and heartbreaking.”

According to Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, the families of the deceased would receive 1 million rupees ($12,000), while the badly injured will receive 200,000 rupees and those with slight injuries will receive 50,000 rupees. Additionally, several state administrations have disclosed payments.

Vaishnaw examined the scene of the accident and told reporters, “It’s a terrible, tragic catastrophe. “The rescue and relief effort is our sole focus, and we’re working to make sure the injured receive the best care possible.” Pradeep Jena, the chief secretary of the state of Odisha, tweeted that more than 200 ambulances had been dispatched to the area and that 100 additional physicians had been mobilized to join the 80 who were already present.Reuters video from early Saturday morning showed police officers removing white-clothed remains off the railroad lines.

Unidentified man survivor told NDTV news, “I was asleep.” “The sound of the train derailing awakened me up. Suddenly, I counted 10 to 15 bodies. I was able to exit the coach, and as I did, I came upon other bodies that had been severed.

Video from Friday showed passengers waving for help and crying close to the debris as rescuers climbed up one of the crumpled trains to look for lives.

The Howrah Superfast Express from Bengaluru to Howrah in West Bengal collided with the Coromandel Express traveling from Kolkata to Chennai at around 7 p.m. (1330 GMT) on Friday.

There has been a massive search and rescue operation set up, involving hundreds of firefighters, police officers, and sniffing dogs. Teams from the National Disaster Response Force were present.

In order to donate blood, hundreds of young people waited up outside a government hospital in Soro, Odisha, on Friday.

Indian Railways claims that its network makes it possible for more than 13 million people to travel each day. Due to outdated infrastructure, the state-run monopoly has a mixed safety record.

In remembrance of the victims, the state has designated Saturday as a day of national mourning.

In 1981, a train in the state of Bihar fell off a bridge and into a river, resulting in India’s deadliest railway catastrophe with an estimated 800 fatalities.

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