Thapelo Lekabe

Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe

Senior Digital Journalist

Ramaphosa sends condolences to India after deadly train crash

Ramaphosa praised the emergency rescue and medical personnel for their tireless work in the aftermath of the train crash.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his condolences to the government and people of India following a horrific train crash in Odisha that killed more than 250 people and injured hundreds more.

India triple train crash

At least 288 people were killed and hundreds more injured in a horrific three-train collision in India, officials said on Saturday, the country’s deadliest rail accident in more than 20 years.

Wreckage debris was piled high at the crash site near Balasore, in the eastern state of Odisha, where some carriages had been tossed far from the tracks and others flipped over entirely.

WATCH: India’s worst train crash of the decade, 288 reported dead

Smashed train compartments were torn open in the impact late on Friday, leaving blood-stained holes in their sides.

SA sends condolences to India

On Saturday, the Presidency said Ramaphosa had sent a message of condolences to the government of India and the families of the victims of the tragic train accident.

“President Ramaphosa said the South African government and people stand in solidarity with those affected by this tragedy and lauded the emergency rescue and medical personnel for their tireless efforts. 

“President Ramaphosa added that the thoughts of the South African people are with the people of India, particularly the affected families, during this time of mourning,” Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said in a statement.

Magwenya said South Africa and India enjoy strong historical, political, diplomatic, economic and people-to-people relations.

The two countries established full diplomatic relations in 1993. 

“South Africa and India share several common interests, including the reform of the United Nations (UN) and Bretton Woods institutions. The two countries also cooperate in a number of multi-lateral forums, including Brics, the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum and the G20.”

Modi visits crash site

Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the crash site and injured passengers being treated in hospital on Saturday.

Modi said “no one responsible” for the train crash would be spared.

“It’s a sad moment,” he told state broadcaster Doordarshan. “I pray that we get out of this sad moment as soon as possible.”  

Additional reporting by AFP

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