New Delhi, Jun 3 (IANS): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday visited Balasore in Odisha, the site of the horrific train accident which claimed at least 261 lives besides leaving over 900 injured, and took stock of the situation.
Before leaving for Odisha from Delhi, the Prime Minister chaired a high-level meeting with regard to the tragic train mishap at the Bahanagar Bazar railway station on Friday evening.
According to government officials, Modi reviewed relief works that are underway at the site of the mishap.
He also interacted with the local authorities, personnel from the disaster relief forces, and railway officials.
The Prime Minister emphasised on a 'Whole of Government' approach to mitigate the monumental tragedy. Modi also spoke to the Cabinet Secretary and the Union Health Minister from the site and asked them to ensure that all kinds of help is provided to the injured and their families.
The Prime Minister said that special care must be taken to ensure that the bereaved families don't face inconvenience and those affected keep getting all the assistance they need.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, who reached Balasore earlier in the day, briefed the Prime Minister about the accident and also about the rescue and relief operations.
Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan was also present at the accident site.
From there, the Prime Minister went to the Balasore Hospital where he spoke to some of the survivors of the train accident, and also interacted with the doctors.
The Prime Minister was earlier scheduled to flag off the first Vande Bharat Express train from Goa on Saturday, but the event was cancelled in the wake of the tragic accident in Odisha.
About 16 hours after the accident, which involved two Express trains -- Coromandel and SMVP-Howrah Superfast Express -- and a goods train, the rescue operation was announced to be complete on Saturday afternoon by the Railways, following which restoration work commenced.
Friday's accident brought back the horrific memories of another deadly accident in UP's Firozabad in 1995, in which 358 people died.
In a similar accident on August 2, 1999, the Brahmaputra Mail collided with the Awadh-Assam Express near Gaisal in Assam, which claimed the lives of approximately 290 people.