Bhubaneswar: At least one person was killed and 22 others injured, two of them critically, in a collision between Bhubaneswar - Bhadrak passenger train and a goods train near Kathojodi station at Cuttack this evening, East Coast Railway officials said.
The passenger train (number 78408) hit the goods train (BCN-DANKUNI) running on the same track, leading to derailment of two coaches, Chief Public Relations Officer of East Coast Railway (ECoR), JP Mishra said.
"One body has been retrieved from the mangled coaches of the passenger train as rescue operation was taken up on a war footing," said Cuttack District Collector NC Mishra who visited the accident site. As many as 17 persons injured in the accident have so far being brought to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack and the condition of two is stated to be very critical, said hospital emergency officer BN Maharana.
Police and ECoR authorities undertook rescue operation and the injured were shifted to hospitals. Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) personnel have also joined them. The number of injured is likely to go up as some passengers were stated to be trapped in the mangled coaches and efforts are on to pull them out, officials said.
Train services between Bhubaneswar and Cuttack have been severely affected, railway officials said. Senior railway officials including DRM-Khurda Road and Chief Safety Officer of ECoR rushed to the spot. District officials as well as Commissioner of Police and other police officers have also joined the rescue operation.
The passenger train was unusually overcrowded due to a strike by bus operators in the state, district officials said. An ECoR report said some trains including Puri-Durg Express, Chennai-Howrah mail, Puri-Talcher Express and Puri-Sealdah Duronto Express will now be diverted via Naraj instead of Cuttack.
A relief train from Khurda Road have been rushed to the spot. Besides, a railway medical van and 10 ambulances were pressed into service, ECoR officials said. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has expressed concern over the accident and directed state government officials to ensure free treatment to the injured. Meanwhile, the railways have opened help line - 0674-2490670, 0674-2301525, 9437579238 - for information about the accident victims.