"The prime minister has been completely silent (on the matter) except for a much-belated, routine, and ritualistic comment for less than 5 minutes in a 133-minute speech in Lok Sabha on August 10."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached the spot where the gruesome accident that involved three trains took place in the Balasore district of Odisha. He was accompanied by railway minister Ashwani Vaishnav and union minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
In the accident, as per available figures, 261 people are dead, and close to 1,000 have been injured. This is the worst train accident in the last 28 years.
After visiting the accident site, PM Modi is going to head to the hospital where treatment of the victims is underway.
Earlier, the PM was supposed to reach Goa to flag off the state’s Vande Bharat Express train. However, following the tragedy, the flagging off of the Vande Bharat train stood cancelled.
Seven National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Teams, five Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) Units and 24 Fire Services and Emergency Units were engaged in rescue operations.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) deployed Mi-17 helicopters for the evacuation of the deceased and injured. According to the Eastern Command, IAF is coordinating the rescue efforts with the civil administration and Indian Railways.
About 20 hours after the trains crashed involving three trains, the rescue operations have almost completed. After the rescue operation, the death toll is believed to be about 278. About 1,000 passengers are injured.