Biden offers condolences to those affected by deadly train crash in India
President Biden offered his condolences on Saturday to those affected by a deadly train crash in eastern India.
“Jill and I are heartbroken by the tragic news of the deadly train crash in India,” he said in a statement. “Our prayers go out to those who have lost loved ones and the many who suffered injuries in this terrible incident.”
More than 280 people were killed and another 900 were injured on Friday, after two passenger trains derailed in the state of Odisha, according to The Associated Press.
After several cars of one train derailed, debris fell onto a nearby track and was hit by a second train, causing it to derail as well, a railroad ministry spokesperson told the AP.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been set to inaugurate a high-speed train connecting Goa and Mumbai on Saturday, as part of his recent push to modernize the country’s antiquated railway system. However, the event was called off following Friday’s crash.
Modi traveled to the site instead to offer his sympathy, CNN reported.
“We can’t bring back those we have lost but the government is with them (families) in their grief. This incident is very serious for the government…Whoever is found guilty will be punished severely,” Modi said, adding that the government would “leave no stone unturned,” according to CNN.
“The United States and India share deep bonds rooted in the ties of family and culture that unite our two nations—and people all across America mourn alongside the people of India,” Biden added on Saturday. “As the recovery effort continues, we will hold the people of India in our thoughts.”
Biden is set to host Modi for an official state visit to the U.S. later this month, where the prime minister will address a joint session of Congress.
“Deeply moved by the condolence messages from world leaders on the train mishap in Odisha,” Modi tweeted on Saturday. “Their kind words will give strength to the bereaved families. Gratitude for their support.”