Those guilty will not be spared, says PM Modi after meeting Odisha train crash survivors

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BALASORE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that directions have been given to probe the train accident in Odisha’s Balasore which killed over 260 passengers, and added that whoever is found guilty will not be spared.

PM Modi’s remarks came during his visit to Fakir Mohan Hospital, Balasore, where some of the passengers injured in Friday’s accident involving three trains were admitted.

“It’s a painful incident. The government will not be able to bring them back, who lost their lives (in the accident), but the government is with their kin in this grief. This incident is very serious for the government. The government will leave no stone unturned for the treatment of those injured. Instructions have been given for every type of investigation and whoever is found guilty will not be spared”, PM Modi said.

“I also thank the Government of Odisha and all the officers of the administration here who tried to help the people with limited resources”, he said, adding that Railway is working towards track restoration. He also thanked the people of Odisha, who came forward to help the crash survivors, whether by donating blood or providing assistance in the rescue operation.

The PM visited the hospital after reviewing the situation at the site of the June 2 incident in which at least 261 people were killed and over 1,000 people injured. The PM flew down to the crash site in an IAF chopper at Bahanaga Bazar Station in Balasore district and was briefed by Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw about the train accident.

At the site of the accident, PM Modi reviewed relief works that are under way. He interacted with local authorities, personnel from the disaster relief forces and railways officials. He emphasised on the ‘whole of government’ approach to mitigating the monumental tragedy, according to government sources.

The three-train accident involved Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Coromandel Express and a goods train on three separate tracks at Bahanaga Bazar Station in Odisha’s Balasore district. According to Odisha government’s Special Relief Commissioner’s office, 17 coaches of the two trains had derailed and were severely damaged.

At the site PM Modi spoke to the Odisha Cabinet Secretary and Health Minister and asked them to ensure all needed help is provided to the injured and their families, government sources said.

PM Modi also said that special care must be taken to ensure that the bereaved families don’t face inconvenience and that those affected keep getting the assistance they require. Earlier in the day, PM Modi held a meeting to review the situation in connection with the rail accident.

Seven National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Teams, five Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) Units and 24 Fire Services and Emergency Units engaged in rescue operations.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) deployed Mi-17 helicopters for the evacuation of the deceased and injured. According to the Eastern Command, IAF is coordinating the rescue efforts with the civil administration and Indian Railways.

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw earlier visited the site and directed a “high level” probe and said measures will be taken to ensure such incidents do not take place in future. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also visited the accident site to take stock of the situation. (ANI)

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