Relatives complain lack of information on rail tragedy

February 14th, 2009 - 1:17 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Feb 13 (IANS) Anxious relatives of the passengers of the Howrah-Chennai Coromandel Express, which derailed in Orissa Friday evening, rushed to the Howrah station here to enquire about their fate but complained that officials were not forthcoming with details.
“Authorities here do not have any information. I don’t know whether my parents, who were in the train, are still alive,” said a youth, standing near the station manager’s office.

More tragic was the case of Chand Pillai, whose brother Pawan Pillai died in the accident near the Jajpur-Keonjhar Road railway station.

“My nephew called up to say that his father has died. He wanted me to rush to Jajpur. But authorities here are not saying anything. They are not giving any information.

“They have not made any arrangements to take us to the spot. I have lost my brother. But these people seem indifferent,” said a sobbing Chand.

“Please do something so that I can go there,” was his plea to the media.

At least 15 passengers were killed and about 150 were injured when the train derailed at around 7.45 p.m., according to railway officials in Orissa.

Meanwhile, two Puri-bound trains originating from Howrah were cancelled, as the Bhadrak route was blocked.

“We have controlled some trains. Two trains have been cancelled. We hope to run some trains through a diverted route,” said a senior South Eastern Railway official.

An emergency cell was opened at the Howrah station. Authorities have also provided a toll free telephone number - 10722 - for information of the passengers in the Coromandel Express.

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