Greece is "deeply saddened" by train collision in India

greece, india train collision

Greece expressed in a Foreign Ministry tweet that it is "deeply saddened by the tragic loss of lives at a train collision in eastern India."

"Our sincere condolences to the victims’ families and wishes for swift recovery to the injured," it added in its tweet, while "at this difficult time Greece stands in solidarity with the people and Government of India."

At least 233 people have died and 900 are injured, state chief secretary Pradeep Jena said on Twitter following the disaster in eastern Odisha state on Friday.

The death toll is expected to rise as teams carry out a colossal rescue operation, Jena told a press conference.

Images from the scene showed rescuers attempting to find survivors in a damaged rail carriage. Video footage also showed upturned coaches littered across train tracks, and people climbing a mangled train carriage.

Friday’s rescue effort included more than 115 ambulances and several fire service units, say authorities. About 500 units of blood were collected overnight with 900 units currently in stock, Jena wrote on Twitter.

“This will help in treating the accident victims. I’m personally indebted and grateful to all the volunteers who’ve donated blood for a noble cause,” he wrote.

The cause of the catastrophic crash has yet to be determined, Jena told CNN affiliate News18, emphasizing that the current focus is on ongoing rescue operations.

“We are only working (at) sending additional doctors, ambulances, buses, so all those things we are doing so we have not thought of asking what happened, how it happened,” he said.

The deadly collision occurred after one passenger train collided into coaches of an already derailed passenger train that had tossed into the opposite track, Indian authorities said.

Both trains then derailed.

“An unfortunate accident took place between Coromandel Express, a goods train and another passenger train near Bahanaga railway station in Balasore district,” Jena said.

“Around 7 p.m., 12841 Coromandel Express, which runs between Shalimar and Chennai, around Balasore, 10 to 12 of its coaches derailed and tossed over to the opposite track. After some time, another train, which runs between Yesvantpur and Howrah, dashed into those derailed coaches, which resulted in the derailment of its three to four coaches,” Railway Spokesperson Amitabh Sharma told reporters.

The Coromandel travels through India’s east coast, between West Bengal’s capital Kolkata to the South Indian city of Chennai.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his condolences on Friday. “Distressed by the train accident in Odisha. In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon. Rescue ops are underway at the site of the mishap and all possible assistance is being given to those affected,” he wrote.

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