The death toll in Friday's triple train accident at Bahanaga Bazar in Odisha's Balasor rose to 288 even as work to remove mangled coaches and repair tracks at the site started in full swing, a railway official said.
Three trains -- 12841 Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, 12864 Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express and a goods train -- were involved in the accident, one of the worst railway tragedies in the country.
Citing reports available till late afternoon Saturday, the official said 288 people were killed in the accident.
The official said, "803 people were injured in the accident, including 56 who suffered grievous injuries".
The two express trains were carrying more than 2,200 passengers with reserved tickets, he added.
The railways said that the 12841 Coromandel express while passing through the Up main line met with an accident and dashed with a stationary goods train in a loop line at Bahanaga Bazar station, situated about 280 kms from Howrah and 171 kms from Bhubaneswar.
A loop line is a railway track connected at either end to a main line, to which trains can be diverted to allow others to pass.
The impact was such that 21 coaches of the train, which was travelling at full speed since it was not supposed to stop at the station, were derailed, with three coaches falling on a neighbouring track, through which the 12864 Bengaluru-Howrah express was simultaneously passing in the opposite direction, the railways said.
The Bengaluru-Howrah train collided with the fallen coaches of Coromandel express on the down track and its rearmost two coaches derailed, the railways said.
"There were around 1,257 passengers with reserved tickets onboard Coromandel express, while 1039 people with reservation were travelling in the Bengaluru-Howrah superfast express," officials said.
There were many others who were travelling in unreserved coaches of the two trains.
The railways announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin of those who died, Rs two lakh to the grievously injured and Rs 50,000 for passengers with simple injury.
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