India train crash death toll leaps to 288, another 850 injured

At least 233 people were killed and 900 were injured when two passenger trains collided in India’s Odisha state, a government official said on Saturday, marking the country’s deadliest rail accident in more than a decade.

The death toll from Friday’s crash is expected to rise, the state’s Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena said on Twitter.

“A high-level committee has been announced and it will hold an inquiry into this whole incident. The Rail Safety Commissioner will also do an inquiry and they will go and find the root cause of this accident – why did this happen – all the technical details will be found out by them,” said Indian Railway Minister Ashwin Vaishnaw visited the crash site on Saturday.

White body bags were seen scattered along the site of the crash while rescue operations were underway as onlookers watched.

The collision occurred at about 7 pm local time on Friday when the Howrah Superfast Express, running from Bangalore to Howrah, West Bengal, collided with the Coromandel Express, which runs from Kolkata to Chennai.