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120 killed, 850 injured in India train crash

Two passenger trains have collided in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, killing at least 120 people and injuring 850 others.

Reuters quotes state government officials as saying the tragedy occurred on Friday, in what they described as one of India’s worst rail accidents in years.

More than 120 bodies had been recovered so far, Sudhanshu Sarangi, the director-general of the fire department in Odisha, told Reuters, adding that the death toll “might go up” as rescue teams continued to search.

About 850 people have been taken to local hospitals with injuries, with over 200 ambulances mobilised, state Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena revealed on Twitter.

Images from the scene showed rescuers climbing up the mangled wreck of one of the trains to find survivors.

“I was there at the site and I can see blood, broken limbs and people dying around me,” an eyewitness told Reuters by telephone.

Hundreds of young people lined up outside a government hospital in Odisha’s Soro to donate blood.

Train accident in India

[1/3] People try to escape from toppled compartments, following the deadly collision of two trains, in Balasore, India June 2, 2023, in this screen grab obtained from a video. ANI/Reuters TV via REUTERS

The Coromandel Express, which runs from Kolkata to Chennai, collided with another passenger train, the Howrah Superfast Express, railway officials said on Friday evening.

The Howrah Superfast Express derailed and became entangled with the Coromandel Express, South Eastern Railway authorities said in a statement.

Odisha Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik said authorities’ priority was “removing the living to the hospitals, that’s our first concern, to look after the living”.

Rescue operations were underway at the site and “all possible assistance” is being given to those affected, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi said via Twitter.

Rescue teams have been mobilised from Odisha’s Bhubaneswar and Kolkata in West Bengal, federal Minister for Railways, Ashwini Vaishnaw said.

The National Disaster Response Force, state government teams and the air force had also mobilised to respond to the incident, he added.