Triple train crash: Kerala, TN, Andhra extend solidarity with Odisha

Rescue operation being conducted after four coaches of the Coromandel Express derailed after a head-on collision with a goods train in Balasore district on Friday. Photo: PTI

Thiruvananthapuram: Southern states including Kerala and Tamil Nadu extended solidarity with Odisha after the train tragedy which rocked India. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday expressed deep sorrow over the tragic train accident in Odisha and conveyed condolence to the families who have lost their loved ones in the incident.

In a tweet, Vijayan said Kerala stands in solidarity with Odisha during this difficult time.

"Deeply saddened by the tragic train accident in Odisha. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families who have lost their loved ones. Kerala stands in solidarity with Odisha during this difficult time. @Naveen_Odisha," he tweeted.

TN ministers to visit Odisha

As a mark of respect to the victims of the Odisha train accident, the Tamil Nadu government on Saturday cancelled the centenary year celebrations of late Chief Minister and DMK leader M. Karunanidhi.

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, who is Karunanidhi's son, will pay tribute to the statue of Kalaignar Karunanidhi and Kalaignar memorial, while all other public programmes are cancelled.

The Secular Progressive Alliance (SPA)-led by DMK, which had planned several public programmes scheduled for this evening, has rescheduled the programmes.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister has deputed two ministers -- Udayanidhi Stalin and S.S. Sivasankar along with three IAS officers -- to reach Odisha and coordinate with the Railway officials on further action.

The Ministers and officials will leave Chennai by the 9.50 a.m flight to Odisha

Andhra govt to establish grievance cells

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Saturday constituted a high-level panel of IAS officers to visit the site of the tragic train accident in Odisha's Balasore district.

The panel will be headed by the state's IT Minister G. Amarnath.

The decision was taken after the Chief Minister held a high-level meeting with CMO officials here earlier in the day Saturday and reviewed the situation.

He directed them to be in touch with the officials of the Odisha CMO and Railway Department.

Jagan Mohan Reddy also told them to establish inquiry and grievance cells in the offices of District Collectors to deal with grievances and respond immediately.

The panel, consisting of Civil Supplies Commissioner Arun Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Commercial Taxes Anand, and Srikakulam Joint Collector Naveen, along with Amarnath will visit the accident spot and extend help in the relief and rescue operations.

The Chief Minister directed the officials to make arrangements in hospitals of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, and Srikakulam districts to treat the injured and provide medical treatment and also keep ambulances ready.

He also directed them to keep him informed of the latest developments.

At least 288 people were killed and over 900 injured in the crash in Odisha's Balasore involving the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express and a goods train on Friday. 

(With agency inputs)

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