Washington/Beijing: US President Joe Biden on Saturday expressed condolences on the train accident in Odisha and said that he is deeply saddened by the sad news of the death of more than 280 people. The accident between three trains in Odisha’s Balasore district is one of India’s worst rail accidents in nearly three decades. At least 288 people have died in this accident and more than 1,100 have been injured.
Biden said in a statement, ‘Jill Biden (First Lady) and I are deeply saddened by the sad news of the fatal train accident in India. Our prayers are with those who have lost their loved ones in this terrible incident and many have been injured.
Biden said, ‘The United States and India share deep bonds rooted in ties of family and culture, and this is what connects our two countries. In this hour of grief, the whole of America stands with the people of India and mourns. As the relief work continues, our thoughts are with the Indians who lost their lives in the accident.
Several world leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida have expressed their deep condolences to the families of those killed in the train accident. Chinese President Xi Jinping sent separate condolence messages to President Draupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the fatal train accident.
In his message, Xi said he was shocked to learn about the accident, which resulted in heavy casualties. On behalf of the Chinese government and people, Jinping expressed deep condolences to the victims and bereaved families and wished the injured a speedy recovery. Chinese Premier Li Qiang also sent a condolence message to Prime Minister Modi.
British PM Rishi Sunak expressed his deep condolences to the family and friends of those killed and praised the rescue workers. Russian President Vladimir Putin also expressed his condolences in a telegram to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Meanwhile, Macron said that France stands in solidarity with India.
After the train accident, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida also sent a condolence message to Prime Minister Modi. Kishida said in a statement, ‘I am deeply saddened by the news of the death of many precious people and injuries to people in the train accident in Odisha. On behalf of the Government of Japan and its people, I would like to express our heartfelt condolences to those who lost their lives and their bereaved families. I also pray for the speedy recovery of the injured.
Significantly, the accident took place after the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express and Bengaluru-Howrah Express train derailed and collided with a goods train in the Balasore district at around 7 pm on Friday. There were about 2500 passengers in both passenger trains. 21 coaches were derailed and severely damaged in the accident, trapping hundreds of passengers. Both the passenger trains were running at high speed and experts have cited this as one of the main reasons for the high number of casualties.
After the train accident, about 90 trains have been canceled, while the route of 46 trains has been changed. Most of the trains affected due to the accident belong to the South and South-East Railway zones. Citing the report available till Saturday afternoon, an official said that 288 passengers died in the accident. At the same time, the condition of the 56 injured is critical.