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63 dead, 150 injured as Indore-Patna Express derails near Kanpur
Kanpur, November 20, 2016
At least 63 people died and more than 150 others suffered injuries when 14 coaches of the 19321 Indore-Patna Express derailed near Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh in the early hours of today in one of the worst rail disasters in the country in recent years, official sources said.
Additional Director General of Police Daljit Singh Chawdhary told journalists that at least 63 bodies had been extricated from the mangled coaches, and that the death toll could rise further.
He also said that more than 150 people with injuries had been rushed to hospitals in Kanpur.
Two coaches, which capsized and telescoped into each other, were the worst affected and cranes and gas cutters were used to cut through the twisted and mangled steel to reach victims trapped inside. One of the coaches had climbed onto the other, crushing the coach below, he said.
The mishap occurred around 3.10 am between Pokhraya and Malasa stations on the Jhansi-Kanpur section of North-Central Railway at a time when most passengers were fast asleep, official sources said.
Accident relief trains and medical teams have rushed to the spot and scores of ambulances were deployed to rush the injured to hospitals, the sources said.
Personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were on their way to scene of the accident and the district administration has also sought the help of the Army for the rescue efforts.
Senior district administration, police and railway officials have rushed to the scene to oversee the rescue and relief efforts. The Minister of State for Railways is also on his way to the spot.
"All rescue relief work on to deal with unfortunate accident. All medical and other help rushed. Enquiry ordered. Situation monitored closely," Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said on micro-blogging Twitter said.
"Strictest possible action will be taken against those who could be responsible for accident. All possible mobilisation for relief initiated," He said.
"Enquiry team will start investigation for cause of accident immediately All necessary assistance provided to the affected, We r taking care," he said.
The stranded passengers were being moved in buses from the site to Malasa station, from where a special train was being arranged to take them to their destinations.
The Ministry of Railways has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 3.5 lakh to the next-of-kin of those who died in the accident, Rs. 50,000 to those with grievous injuries and Rs. 25,000 for those with simple injuries.
This is in addition to the compensation which will be available through the Railway Claims Tribunal.
The Railways have also promised to provide the best possible medical treatment for the injured.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his shock and grief over the loss of lives in the acident. "Anguished beyond words on the loss of lives due to the derailing of the Patna-Indore express. My thoughts are with the bereaved families," he said on Twitter.
"Prayers with those injured in the tragic train accident. I've spoken to @sureshpprabhu, who is personally monitoring the situation closely," he added.
Traffic on the section, which has only a single line, has been affected and several trains have been cancelled or diverted. Efforts are being made to restore normal traffic at the earliest, sources said.
The Railways have set up the following helplines for the benefit of passengers and their relatives:
Indore- 0731 1072, Ujjain 0734 2560906, Ratlam 07412 1072, Jhansi 0510-1072, Orai 05162-1072, Kanpur 0512-1072, Pokhrayan 05113-270239, Patna 0612-220 2290, 220 2291, 2202292