Following the rail tragedy at Balasore in Odisha, the Railways announced the cancellation of 48 trains since Friday night along with the diversion of 39 trains from the accident site while 10 other trains have been short-terminated. The accident involving the Coromandel Express and the Yeswanthpur-Howrah Duronto on Friday night has resulted in over 260 fatalities and 900 injuries with some coaches yet to be prised open to retrieve the bodies.
The Puri Duronto Express (22201), Siddhabali Jan Shatabdi Express (12038), Howrah-Tirupati Humsafar Express (20889), MGR Chennai Central Mail (12839), the Bengaluru-Guwahati Superfast Express (12509), the Thiruvananthapuram-Kolkata Superfast Express (22641), Mahima Gosain Express (20831), Bhanjpur Special Fare Special (08012) and Bagha Jatin Express (18044) are a few of the cancelled trains. Among the trains that have been rerouted are the Howrah-Mysuru Express (22817) and the Kanniyakumari-Dibrugarh Vivek Express (22503).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the accident site and recovering passengers in nearby hospitals along with Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in Balasore. PM Modi said those involved will be punished. He added the government will support people who lost family members in the disaster.
According to officials, the prime minister has asked Cabinet Secretary and the Health Minister to make sure the injured and their families receive all the assistance they require. Meanwhile, the railway minister has issued ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh to the surviving family members of the deceased, Rs 2 lakh to the seriously injured, and Rs 50,000 to the minorly injured.
For the convenience of stranded passengers, the railways have provided helpline numbers for 10 locations: Howrah 033-26382217, Kharagpur 8972073925 & 9332392339, Balasore 8249591559 & 7978418322, Shalimar 9903370746, Santragachi Jn 8109289460 & 8340649469, Bhadrak 7894099579 & 9337116373, Jaipur Keonjhar Road 9676974398, Cuttack 8455889917, Bhubaneswar 06742534027, Khurda Road 6370108046 & 06742492245.
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