India : the death toll from a train collision rises to at least 288 India : the death toll from a train collision rises to at least 288

India : the death toll from a train collision rises to at least 288

Disputed border : Satellite images 'reveal' expansion of China's facilities near Indian border India : the death toll from a train collision rises to at least 288

Sudancho Sarangi, Director General of Firefighting Services in Odisha state, said that the death toll from the collision of three trains has risen to 288, in parallel with 850 others who were injured as a result of this accident that occurred on Friday evening.

The death toll from a three-train collision in eastern India has risen to at least 288, according to Sudancho Sarangi, director general of firefighting services in Odisha state, on Saturday morning.

Sarangi confirmed to Agence France-Presse this new death toll, while more than 850 others were injured as a result of this accident, which occurred on Friday evening, amid fears that many were trapped under the vehicles.

A previous toll indicated that 207 people were killed.

Footage broadcast by local stations showed smashed cabins, bloodstains on twisted metal parts, and dozens of passengers lying on the sides of the track near Balasore, about 200 km from the regional capital, Buba Nasuwar.

"The death toll is rising because of the many serious injuries and head injuries," Sarangi told AFP.

"About 850 injured people have been taken to hospitals," Pradeep Gina, a local official in Odisha state, told AFP, stressing that relief work is continuing.

He added, "The top priority now is to rescue (the passengers) and provide health support to the wounded."

Indian Railways director Amitabh Sharma told AFP that the accident occurred between two trains and a freight train that was parked at the site where the collision occurred.

Relief teams are working to pull injured people from the wreckage, amid fears of a high death toll.

"It is very difficult to estimate the numbers of casualties on the ground or to clarify the number of wounded," Sharma said, expressing his belief that many passengers were stuck under the vehicles.

"Doctors and medical teams have been dispatched to the scene," a medical official in Balasore told AFP.

For his part, a survivor said in a statement to a local news station that he was sleeping when the accident occurred, and he woke up to find himself stuck under about ten passengers, so that he could later find a way to get out of the cabin, and he was injured in his neck and arm.

Local media reports showed scenes of a train carriage overturned on one side of the track, with what appeared to be survivors on top, and residents trying to recover victims.

"we need everyone"

SK Panda, a spokesman at Gina's office, described the incident as "significant".

"We expect the rescue operations to continue until at least tomorrow (Saturday) morning. On our part, we have prepared all the large hospitals, both governmental and private, to meet the needs of the wounded," he said.

The spokesman added that "75 ambulances were sent to the site and a number of buses were deployed" to transport the wounded and survivors.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his "sadness over the train accident".

In a tweet, he indicated his "solidarity with the grieving families," wishing the wounded a "speedy recovery."

Modi announced that he had contacted Railways Minister Ashwini Vishnu and briefed him on the situation.

Vishnu confirmed that he will go to the scene of the accident. "Rescue teams from Bhubaneswar, Calcutta, National Disaster Response Force, State Government teams and Air Force have been mobilized," he said on Twitter, stressing: "We will need everyone in the rescue operations."

India often witnesses train accidents, despite the enhancement of railway safety conditions in recent years, thanks to huge investments and modernization of the technologies used.



Disputed border : Satellite images 'reveal' expansion of China's facilities near Indian border New satellite images reveal that China has significantly expanded its airfields along the disputed border with India to boost its air power.

Disputed border : Satellite images 'reveal' expansion of China's facilities near Indian border

New satellite images reveal that China has significantly expanded its airfields along the disputed border with India to boost its air power.

Alisha Rehman Sarkar Saturday 3 June 2023 15:45
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According to images taken by San Francisco-based Earth imaging company Planet Labs PBC, Beijing has built several new airfields, helipads, railway networks, missile bases, along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in some areas. Built roads and bridges (Planet Labs PBC)

New satellite images show that China has significantly expanded its airfields along the disputed border with India to boost its air power and has steadily increased its offensive capabilities since the bloody clash in 2020.

According to images taken by San Francisco-based Earth imaging company Planet Labs PBC, shared with The Independent, Beijing has used the Line of Actual Control (LOC) to counter India's dominance in some areas. LAC) has built several new airfields, helipads, railway networks, missile bases, roads and bridges.

According to an analysis of the same images by the Hindustan Times, images of airfields at Hotan, Ngarigansa and Lhasa in southwest China show Beijing has built new runways, fortified shelters and new operations to protect warplanes. It has increased its military strength by building buildings.

These three Chinese airfields are strategically located in the northern region of India stretching from west to east.

The nuclear-armed Asian nations, which have a decades-long history of rivalry over border claims, have been working for three years to defuse the latest tensions along the de facto border (LAC).

Relations between New Delhi and Beijing reached their worst level in years after clashes and bloody fighting in the Galwan Valley in June 2020. 20 Indian and four Chinese personnel were killed in this clash.

Photos released by Planet Labs last month showed a new runway, new aircraft and buildings to support military operations at Hotan Airfield in southwestern Xinjiang, about 400 kilometers from Leh in India. A new apron has also been constructed.

Recent images show unmanned aircraft (drones) operating from the airfield.

Initial images from June 2020 did not show any construction or expansion in the area near the airfield. The airfield was reportedly last expanded in 2002.

Ngari Gansa Airfield in Tibet Autonomous Region is located 200 km from Pangong Lake. There have been several clashes between the two armies in this region.

The airfield became operational in 2010 and was expanded after the 2017 standoff in the disputed Doklam region.

Satellite images from June 2020 showed only an aircraft apron with fighter jets, but an image from May this year revealed significant progress, including the construction of a new taxiway and improvements to the runway.

2023 also saw at least 16 aircraft shelters and buildings supporting aircraft and military operations.

The airport of the administrative capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region has long been used for both civil and military purposes. Lhasa Airfield is located less than 250 km from Tawang. It is the western part of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, the eastern part of which is claimed by China.

New satellite images show a new runway and a new apron with at least 30 new shelters and new support buildings.

According to the report, construction of underground facilities south of Lhasa Airfield has been ongoing in the last few years.

Damien Simon, a researcher at Intel Labs, told Hindustan Times that the developments at the airfields reflect China's strategic intent in the region. Under which to increase its military capabilities to counter the superiority of India.

He said: 'The ongoing construction activities here, along with prominent and varied deployments at these locations that include the use of drones and advanced aircraft, indicate China's efforts to enhance its offensive capabilities, particularly India's. In light of the tense border situation.

"This development is crucial to fundamentally changing air warfare dynamics, expanding China's operational range and recognizing challenges to India's deterrence strategy," Simon added.

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