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Train crash kills hundreds in India

India's surviving train accident survivors

A triple train collision involving the Yashwantpur-Howarh Express, the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express, and a cargo train resulted in more than 200 deaths and 800 injuries on June 2 in the Balasore district of Odisha, India.

Director of the Balasore Social Service Society, Father Roy Kochupurackal, said church personnel, volunteers, and social workers from the Balasore Social Service Society are currently communicating with the families of victims of the train tragedy. 

The injured were rushed to the District Headquarters Hospital in Balasore.

The accident, considered the fourth deadliest in India, happened near the Bahanaga Baazar station in Balasore district, about 250 km south of Kolkata and 170 km north of Bhubaneswar, around 7:00 p.m. on Friday. 

Several coaches of the 12864 Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express derailed and crashed onto nearby tracks, causing a collision between two other trains.

According to BBC reports, an investigation is ongoing, but many unanswered questions remain regarding the incident, which has reignited demands for improved train safety. 

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik declared a one-day mourning after the deadly triple train crash.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the site of the derailment, reviewing relief works that are underway.

He met with local authorities, disaster relief personnel, and railway officials.

Pope Francis stated in a telegram that Secretary of State Card Piero Parolin sent to Archbishop Leoplolodo Girelli, the Apostolic Nuncio, in India on his behalf on June 3. 

The message reads: “Entrusting the souls of the deceased to the loving mercy of the Almighty, he (the pontiff) sends heartfelt condolences to those who mourn their loss. His holiness likewise offers prayers for the many injured and for the efforts of the emergency service personnel, and he invokes the Divine gifts of courage and consolation upon them.”

Archbishop Leopoldo also sent a message to Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar.

"In these painful circumstances, I join the Holy Father in offering my condolences and wish to assure prayers for the victims and their families and the relief of the injured,” he said. 

The Odisha train collision is India's fourth major train accident this year. 

In May, a double-decker Chennai-Bengaluru express train derailed when it left the Bisanattam station. 

No casualties were reported in the incident. - Purushottam Nayak


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