Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], June 3 (ANI): Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah on Saturday called for an independent investigation led by a retired judge into the Balasore train accident, in which the death toll, as per Indian Railways, has reached to 288 and 747 people have been injured.
Speaking with ANI, the National Conference Chief said, "This is a very sad incident...More than 250 people have died. If one train met with an accident then how come to the other two trains were not stopped. There must be some error that needs to be investigated by an independent retired judge."The death toll from a three-train crash in Odisha's Balasore has climbed to 288, Indian Railways said on Saturday.
"As of 2 pm today, the death toll in the Odisha train crash has risen to 288 while 747 people have been injured along with 56 grievously injured," Indian Railways said in a statement.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached the train crash site in Odisha's Balasore. He was accompanied by Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
The three-way accident involved Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Coromandel Express and the goods trains on three separate tracks at Bahanaga Bazar Station in Odisha's Balasore district. According to the Odisha Government's Special Relief Commissioner's office 17 coaches of the two trains had derailed and severely damaged.
At the site PM Modi spoke to Cabinet Secretary and Health Minister and asked them to ensure all needed help is provided to the injured and their families, government sources said.
After taking stock of the crash incident, PM Modi visited Fakir Mohan Hospital, Balasore, where some of the passengers injured in Friday's accident involving three trains were admitted.
After meeting the crash survivors, he said that directions have been given to probe the train accident and that whoever is found guilty will not be spared.
"It's a painful incident. The government will not be able to bring them back, who lost their lives [in the accident], but the government is with their kin in this grief. This incident is very serious for the government. The government will leave no stone unturned for the treatment of those injured. Instructions have been given for every type of investigation and whoever is found guilty will not be spared," PM Modi said.
The Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw earlier visited the site and directed a "high level" probe and said measures will be taken to ensure such incidents do not take place in future.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also visited the accident site to take stock of the situation. (ANI)