More than 280 killed, 900 injured in three-train collision in India

More than 200 people have been killed and hundreds injured in a collision involving two passenger trains and a goods train in the Indian city of Balasore, in one of the worst rail crashes in recent history.

At least 233 people have died and 900 are injured, state chief secretary Pradeep Jena said on Twitter following the disaster in eastern Odisha state on Friday.

The death toll is expected to rise as teams carry out a colossal rescue operation, Jena told a press conference.

Images from the scene showed rescuers attempting to find survivors in a damaged rail carriage. Video footage also showed upturned coaches littered across train tracks, and people climbing a mangled train carriage.

Friday’s rescue effort included more than 115 ambulances and several fire service units, say authorities. About 500 units of blood were collected overnight with 900 units currently in stock, Jena wrote on Twitter.

“This will help in treating the accident victims. I’m personally indebted and grateful to all the volunteers who’ve donated blood for a noble cause,” he wrote.

The cause of the catastrophic crash has yet to be determined, Jena told CNN affiliate News18, emphasizing that the current focus is on ongoing rescue operations.

“We are only working (at) sending additional doctors, ambulances, buses, so all those things we are doing so we have not thought of asking what happened, how it happened,” he said.