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The search for the survivors of the train crash has ended and 280 people have died

The search for the survivors of the train crash has ended and 280 people have died

Indian authorities are continuing to investigate the cause.

Rescue workers on Saturday found no survivors amid the piles of debris from two passenger trains that derailed in India, killing more than 280 people.

Hundreds of passengers were trapped inside a dozen mangled carriages overnight in one of the country’s deadliest train accidents in decades.

The crash, about 220 kilometers southwest of Kolkata, on Friday night created a chaotic scene as survivors climbed atop broken trains, threw open doors and windows and threw flares.

Around 900 people have been injured in the accident in Balasore district of eastern Odisha state, said PK Jena, the state’s top administrative officer. The cause is under investigation.

In New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took stock of the tragedy before traveling to Odisha to meet officials and see the accident in person and see people being treated in hospitals.

Railway ministry spokesperson Amitabh Sharma said rescue operations are almost complete. Railway officials will start clearing the debris to repair the tracks and resume train services.

At least 280 bodies were recovered overnight, Saturday morning, Odisha Fire Department Director Sudanshu Sarangi told The Associated Press.

He said more than 800 injured passengers have been admitted to various hospitals and many are in critical condition.

Rescue workers searched among the wrecked wagons to find people still trapped. Sarangi said there may be people trapped below, but they are unlikely to be alive.

“At 10:00 pm (Friday) we were able to rescue the survivors. After that, they tried to collect the dead bodies,” he said. “It’s very, very sad. I’ve never seen anything like it in my career.”

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About 10 to 12 cars of a train derailed and debris from some of the wrecked cars fell on the nearby tracks, said Sharma, a spokesman.

The debris collided with another passenger train coming from the opposite direction, derailing all three coaches of the second train.

A third freight train was also involved, the Press Trust of India reported, but there was no immediate confirmation from railway officials.

PTI reported that some of the derailed passenger cars collided with the freight coaches.

The death toll rose steadily throughout the night as completely overturned wagons presented mangled scenes.

Dozens of bodies, covered in white sheets, lay on the ground near the railway tracks as locals and rescue workers rushed to help survivors.

Officials said 1,200 rescue workers, along with 115 ambulances, 50 buses and 45 mobile health units, were at the scene overnight.

Citizens help

Odisha has declared Saturday as a day of mourning as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has come to meet the injured passengers.

Villagers said they rushed to the spot to help people after hearing loud noises caused by derailment of train coaches.

“The locals went out of their way to help us. They not only helped evacuate people, but also rescued our luggage and gave us water,” survivor Rupam Banerjee was quoted as saying by PTI.

Inside the train, passenger Vandana Kaleda said people were “falling over each other” as their car jolted violently and slid off the tracks.

“When I came out of the bathroom, suddenly the train tilted. I lost my balance. … Everything turned upside down. People started falling over each other and I was shocked and didn’t understand what was happening. My mind stopped working,” she recounted, feeling lucky to survive.

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Another survivor, who did not give his name, said he was sleeping when the impact woke him up. He mentioned seeing other passengers with broken limbs and disfigured faces.

The derailed Coromandel Express was traveling from Howrah in West Bengal to Chennai, the capital of the southern state of Tamil Nadu, PTI reported.

Modi said his thoughts are with the bereaved families.

“May the injured make a speedy recovery,” the prime minister tweeted, adding that he had spoken to the railway minister and was being extended “all assistance”.

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