Tangled carcasses, rows of bodies extricated by rescuers: India woke up on Saturday June 3 to the horror of one of the deadliest rail disasters in the country’s history.
At least 288 people were killed in the collision of three trains, including a freight convoy, which occurred Friday evening near Balasore, about 200 kilometers from Bhubaneswar, the capital of the state of Odisha. More than 850 injured have also been identified by the authorities, who fear that the toll of this rail disaster will continue to increase.
Extremely violent, the collision threw the cars in the air, scattering sections of metal twisted by the impact. At the crash site, the personal effects of the passengers on board – a child’s shoe, a suitcase, heaps of clothes – were still strewn on the ground, here and there, buried under metal debris and the remnants of seats from inside the wagons.
Parade of ambulances
Footage broadcast overnight by local TV channels also showed rows of bodies, some covered in white shrouds, and rescue workers carrying stretchers. In the hope of extracting any trapped survivors, the latter opened breaches in the metal walls of the wagons.
From a distance, onlookers watched in amazement on Saturday morning, the efforts made by the rescuers. An unbroken parade of ambulances brought injured people to Bhadrak district hospital, where the bloody and shocked survivors are being treated in overcrowded conditions.
In addition to ambulances, buses have also transported the injured to other nearby hospitals, where volunteers are queuing to donate blood. The doctors themselves seem overwhelmed by the magnitude of the needs. A huge crowd also gathered in front of the entrance to the Bhadrak district hospital while the ballet of ambulances continued in the background.