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Business News/ News / India/  Odisha train accident: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee flags lack of ‘anti-collision device’

Odisha train accident: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee flags lack of ‘anti-collision device’

West Bengal CM and former Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee called the Balasore train accident the ‘biggest railway accident of the 21st century’ and flagged the absense of an ‘anti-collision device’ on the train.

The chief minister of India's West Bengal state Mamata Banerjee  (AFP)Premium
The chief minister of India's West Bengal state Mamata Banerjee (AFP)

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee flagged the lack of an ‘anti-collision device’ on the Coromandel express, dubbing the recent train accident in Odisha the ‘biggest’ such incident in the 21st century. At least 261 people lost their lives and about 900 were injured on Friday as three trains collided in Balasore district. 

“Coromandel is one of the best express trains. I was the Railway Minister thrice. From what I saw, this is the biggest railway accident of the 21st century. Such cases are handed over to Railway's safety commission and they investigate and give a report...There was no anti-collision device on the train, as far as I know. Had the device been on the train, this would not have happened," Banerjee said. 

She also emphasised the need to hasten rescue operations and ‘restore normalcy’.

ALSO READ: Odisha train accident LIVE updates: 261 dead, 900 injured in three-train tragedy

Visuals from the accident site showed bogeys thrown off the track - some in a crushed or mangled condition - with the belongings of passengers strewn around. Blood stained parts of the carriages as witnesses recalled the screams and wails of the injured.

Rescue teams searched the mangled carriages to pull the survivors out and rush them to hospital. Gas cutters were used to extricate the bodies from under the derailed coaches. People were also seen searching for their relatives at the site and nearby hospitals. As one report put it, the accident site looked like “a powerful whirlwind had thrown the coaches on top of each other".

The Indian Railways has since ordered a high-level probe to ascertain the cause of the accident. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also held a meeting to review the situation and then headed for the accident site and the Cuttack hospital where many injured are being treated.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Updated: 03 Jun 2023, 03:25 PM IST
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