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Rescue Operation of India’s Train Derailment Completed

Kanchan Chowdary cries while looking for her husband, who was traveling in a train that derailed, in Balasore district, in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, June 4, 2023.

Indian officials say the rescue operation following a deadly train derailment has been completed.

A report in The Times of India said nearly 300 people had died in the accident and more than 1,000 were injured when three trains collided Friday night about 220 kilometers south of Kolkata.

Officials said railway workers are now focusing their attention on clearing the tracks.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the site Saturday, spending about half an hour at the location, surveying the relief efforts and talking to rescue workers. He later went to a hospital where some of the injured are being cared for, speaking to some of them and their doctors. He told reporters the government would do everything it could to help the survivors and punish those found responsible.

The Times of India said one of the trains involved in the derailment entered the wrong track just moments before it left the rails.

Emergency workers had to climb on overturned train cars to rescue some victims, while other rescuers cut through the trains’ cars to provide emergency services.

Authorities say at least three multicar trains were involved in the derailment. All told, about 15 train cars derailed.

Train crashes are a frequent occurrence in India because of aging railway infrastructure. More than 12 million people ride thousands of trains across the country every day.

The train derailment canceled the inaugural run of a high-speed train between Mumbai and Goa, which Modi was to attend.

Some information for this report was provided by The Associated Press.