June 2 (UPI) -- At least 200 people are dead and 900 injured after a train derailment and collision in India's Odisha state Friday.
The accident occurred at about 7:20 p.m. local time when the Howrah Superfast Express passenger train derailed, causing cars to detach and strike the Coromandel Express from Kolkata to Chennai on the opposite track. Some media reports suggested a freight train also was involved in the crash.
Soon after the crash, Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena said 75 ambulances and almost 500 police officers were involved in rescue efforts.
Hours later, Jena noted on social media that the death toll was 207 and about 900 people were injured, according to a disaster-relief organization in the state and reported by ABC News.
Rescuers worked to free hundreds of people trapped inside the train.
"Rushing to the site in Odisha. My prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured and condolences to the bereaved families," Indian Minster for Railways, Ashwini Vaishnaw, tweeted Friday.
Vaishnaw said the families of deceased victims would be compensated $12,000, those who suffered "grievous' injury would be compensated $2,400, and those with "minor" injuries would be compensated $600.
"Distressed by the train accident in Odisha. In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon. Spoke to Railway Minister Aswini Vaishnaw and took stock of the situation. Rescue ops are underway at the site of the mishap and all possible assistance is being given to those affected," Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted Friday.
More than 12 million Indians travel on about 14,000 trains every day. Each year there are thousands of deaths in India involving trains. The National Crime Record's Bureau reported that 13,000 train accidents caused 12,000 deaths in India in 2020.