India train crash leaves hundreds dead and injured


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At least 120 people have been killed and 850 injured after two passenger trains collided in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, in one of the country’s worst rail accidents in years.

Over 120 bodies had been recovered so far, according to Odisha authorities, who also warned the death toll might rise as rescue teams continued to search.

Some 850 people have been taken to local hospitals with injuries, with over 200 ambulances mobilised, state Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena said in a tweet.

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 phone.

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

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 in a tweet.

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

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


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