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Odisha Train Accident: ‘My Mother Was Missing, I Got a Picture of the Body’

The train collision in India’s eastern Odisha state on Friday evening – the country’s worst this century – involved two passenger trains and a freight train.

At least 288 people were killed and 1,000 injured.

The BBC spoke to villagers who witnessed the crash, and an injured passenger.


My mother and my grandmother were on the train. They were going to the city to buy medicines.

I found my granny a few hours after the accident. She was alive. But my mother was missing. We looked for her everywhere but couldn’t find her.

I didn’t know what to do, so I forwarded a photo of my mother to all my friends and acquaintances. I shared her number as well and described the colour of the dress she was wearing when I last saw her.

This morning I heard from one of my friends. They sent me a picture of a body – it was my mother. She was wearing the same dress.

All I want now is to be able to take her body back home safely so that we can put her to rest. But there is so much chaos here – there are no trains and the roads are all jammed.

Girija Shankar Rath

There was chaos. There was a loud sound and there was smoke all around.

People were running in all directions. I was close to the tracks and decided to run to the spot. We started pulling out some of the trapped passengers. We managed to get some of the survivors out – and some bodies, too.

There were so many injured, we did not know how to get them out. It became a bit easier after the rescue workers arrived. This work went on almost throughout the night. I am still in a daze.

Tutu Biswas

We heard a loud sound. When we came out of the house, we saw that this accident had happened outside. I saw the goods train had climbed over on another train.

When I reached the spot, I saw that many people were injured, many people had died. A small child was crying whose parents had probably died. That child also died after a while.

Many people were asking for water here. I gave water to people as much as possible. People from our village came here and helped people as much as they could.

It was horrific.

Mukesh Pandit

I was in the train when we felt a slight jolt and the train derailed.

There was a thunderous sound and the train overturned. I was trapped and was rescued after half an hour by local people.

All our belongings were scattered outside. I couldn’t find any of it. I came out and sat on the ground. Four passengers who were travelling from my village have survived, but a lot of people are injured or still missing.

A lot of people died in the coach I was travelling in. Those who were seriously injured were brought to the hospital.

Ritik Kumar

My brother was sitting on his berth and I was standing next to the door of the coach.

When the train overturned, I managed to escape. I thought my brother would’ve escaped too, but that did not happen. He got stuck under his seat.

I ran back to the wreckage and pulled him out – I pulled out a young girl who was stuck with him as well.

I called the police and the ambulance services but they took half-an-hour to get there.

India’s deadly train crashes

  • June 1981: Nearly 800 people die when seven of the nine coaches of an overcrowded train fall into a river during a cyclone
  • August 1995: At least 350 people are killed when two trains collide 200km (125 miles) from Delhi
  • August 1999: Two trains collide near Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) killing at least 285 people
  • October 2005: 77 people are killed when a train derails in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh
  • November 2016: Nearly 150 people are killed and an equal number are injured when 14 carriages of the Indore-Patna Express train derail near the city of Kanpur

Source : BBC