Odisha train accident: CBI begins probe, NDRF call off operation, Railways put death toll at 278

Bhubaneswar: All nine NDRF teams withdrawn as there are no live or dead victims present at the accident site

BY | Tuesday, 6 June, 2023

(Combines related story)

A 10-member CBI team on Monday visited the train accident site in Balasore, Odisha and began its probe into the triple train crash, a Railway official said.

ECoR’s Khurda Road division DRM Rintesh Ray said that according to his information, the CBI probe has begun but the details were not immediately known.

The Railway Board on Sunday recommended a CBI probe into the accident.

Earlier, Commissioner of Railway Safety Shailesh Kumar Pathak visited the accident site where he went to the control room, signal room and signal point at Bahanaga Bazar railway station.

This apart, the Government Railway Police in Balasore has registered a case on June 3 under various sections of Indian Penal Code and Railway Act over the accident.

Read more: Why were grave red flags ignored: Kharge to PM Modi on Odisha railway tragedy

NDRF ends rescue operation

The National Disaster Response Force ended its rescue operation with the withdrawal of all its nine teams from the triple train accident site in Odisha’s Balasore district. The force rescued 44 victims and retrieved 121 bodies from the spot since the teams were deployed after the accident on June 2, they said.

The operation has ended and all nine teams have now been withdrawn as there are no live or dead victims present at the accident site near the Bahanaga Bazar Railway Station. Eight teams were relieved on Sunday, while one was drawn out on Monday, they said.

The nine teams had joined the personnel of state disaster forces and the local administration to undertake rescue and relief operations after they were sent in from Balasore, Mundali (Cuttack district) and Kolkata.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) rescuers carried heavy plasma and gas cutters, lifting pads, stretchers, canine teams and other equipment to undertake the operation.

Railways put official death at 278

Railways on Monday put the official death toll in the Odisha triple train crash at 278, stating that three more people have succumbed to their injuries.

The state government’s revised toll, however, remained unchanged at 275.

Khurda Road division DRM Rinkesh Ray said that apart from 278 deaths, 1,100 people were injured in the June 2 accident.

On the state government’s toll remaining at 275, he said, “Figures do change with time.”

The toll was earlier put at 288, which the state government revised to 275 on Sunday, claiming some bodies were counted twice.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, also a former Railway Minister, questioned the figures, stating that 61 people from her state have died and 182 others are still missing.

Roy said of the 1,100 injured, less than 200 are undergoing treatment in various hospitals.

He said that of the 278 bodies, 177 have been identified while 101 more are yet to be identified and these unclaimed bodies have been kept in six different hospitals.

Roy said the Railways has deployed people in states such as Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu to locate any missing person.

He said the bodies will be preserved in a scientific manner.

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