NDRF shares ‘heartwarming’ story of jawan who sent 1st alert, ‘live location’

National news
National news

In a major development in a horrific three-train collision in Odisha’s Balasore, it has come to light that an NDRF jawan on leave who was traveling on the Coromandel Express was possibly the first person to inform emergency services of the train’s accident in Odisha’s Balasore before joining the initial rescue efforts.On Friday, the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express crossed the wrong track and collided with a standing goods train.

Its coaches were dispersed throughout the train, including on a track adjacent to it, and another passenger train, the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, which was traveling at a high speed, struck them and derailed. The most terrible rail mishap in India in almost thirty years has left no less than 288 individuals dead and north of 1,100 harmed.

Jawan Venkatesh NK of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was on leave and traveling to Tamil Nadu from Howrah in West Bengal. Despite being derailed, the officials stated that his coach, B-7, did not collide with coaches prior to it, giving him a narrow escape.

His seat number was 58 on the third AC coach. The 39-year-old, who was assigned to the NDRF’s 2nd battalion in Kolkata, initially contacted the battalion’s senior inspector to inform him of the accident.

The “live location” of the site that he had sent via WhatsApp to the NDRF control room was, according to them, used by the first rescue teams to reach the location.

“I felt a massive jolt and then I saw some passengers in my coach falling down. I brought the first passenger out and seated him in a shop near the railway track. I then rushed to help others,” Venkatesh told PTI from onboard a relief train that was taking him to Chennai.

He said local people, including a medical shop owner, were the “real saviours” as they assisted the casualties with whatever was accessible to them.Two passenger trains carrying approximately 2,300 people collided near the Bahanaga Bazar station in Balasore, about 170 kilometers north of Bhubaneswar.

“The jawan Venkatesh was travelling in the Coromandel Express as he was going on leave to his home in Tamil Nadu.He rang up his seniors in Kolkata as soon as the accident took place. That phone call was probably the first that alerted the NDRF which subsequently informed the local administration too,” an official said.

The jawan, who came from the Border Security Force (BSF) and joined the NDRF in 2021, claimed that he used his mobile phone’s flashlight to locate injured and trapped passengers and bring them to safety.Locals also used their phones and flashlights to assist passengers until rescue teams arrived, even though it was pitch black.

“An NDRF jawan is always on duty whether donning a uniform or not,” according to Delhi’s NDRF DIG Mohsen Shahedi.The official stated that the NDRF rescuer had done everything he could to save lives in the “golden hour” up until the time the first NDRF and Odisha state rescue teams arrived at the scene of the accident, which occurred around 7 p.m. on Friday.

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