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'Odisha train tragedy century's biggest,' says Mamata blaming the lack of anti-collision devices

Banerjee announced that her government would pay Rs 5 lakh compensation to the families of passengers from West Bengal
Last Updated : 03 June 2023, 10:44 IST

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who visited the accident site in Odisha, said that the accident could have been averted had anti-collision devices been installed on the train (Coromandel Express).

Banerjee said that Coromandel Express is one of the best express trains. She termed the accident as the biggest one of the century. “When such incidents happen, railways give it to the safety commission. They investigate, and give a report…. As far as I have gathered, there was no anti-collision device on the train,” she said, adding that the accident could have been averted, had the device been there.

Banerjee said that the device had been manufactured during her tenure as a railways minister and such a device curbs accidents, as it alerts if an emergency arises.

She emphasised on quick rescue operations, and facilitating people to reach home. Terming the accident as the biggest of the century, she recalled earlier incidents – one in Bihar, and the other that happened due to Maoists.

Banerjee has announced a financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh to every affected family from Bengal, and has requested the railways ministry to provide aid. The Bengal government has sent “110 ambulances and 40 doctors to Odisha and will continue to cooperate with the involved authorities,” a tweet through Trinamool’s official handle stated.

The Bengal chief minister “asserted the urgent need to prioritise the railways to enhance efficiency. As (the) former railway minister with an understanding of internal workings, she strongly advocates better coordination to prevent accidents that risk innocent lives,” a second tweet by the party read.

A midday update by Bengal government stated that a round-the-clock room has been opened at Nabanna, the state secretariat since yesterday (033-22143526, 033-22145185), and senior officers are present on roster duty, to monitor and supervise. The situation is being assessed on an hourly basis, and being acted upon accordingly.

“A special team consisting of four senior IAS officers, four deputy magistrate and one SDPO" has been camping at Balasore since yesterday to coordinate. 70 ambulances with 34 doctors, and 10 buses and 20 mini-trucks reached Balasore till 12 noon. Two disaster management group teams of police are enroute to Balasore, according to the official update.

Moreover, “Twenty ambulances and 120 passengers have left Balasore for West Bengal. Eleven patients have already been admitted in different hospitals (Medinipur Medical College – 5; Ghatal Super-Specialty Facility – 6)”. Two patients were reported at SSKM Hospital, and have been discharged after treatment. The state chief secretary has held a (VC) meeting with DMs, CPs, and SPs for coordinating relief measures, the update stated

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Published 03 June 2023, 09:25 IST

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