At least 133 passengers were killed while more than 180 persons were injured, out of which nearly 50 are reported to be grievously wounded, in the worst train accident in recent years when 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express derailed near Pukhrayan of Kanpur Dehat district in Uttar Pradesh yesterday due to suspected rail fracture.
Confirming the toll, District magistrate of Kanpur Dehat Ravi Kant Singh said, 104 bodies have been identified so far. Most of the affected passengers of the Indore-Patna Express belong to Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. Director General, NDRF R.K. Pachnanda said, rescue and relief operations are in full swing at the accident site.
NDRF, police force and civil administration were engaged in relief work on war footing. Army is also assisting in rescue and other relief work. Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has ordered a high level inquiry into the accident. Visiting the accident spot last evening, he asked officials to speed up the rescue and relief work.
Prabhu also visited Hallet hospital at Kanpur where the injured are being treated. Minister of state for Railways Manoj Sinha supervised the relief works.
Sinha said, those who are responsible for the incident will be punished, adding that all efforts are being taken to provide assistance to the bereaved families and other injured.
He further said the railway has already announced financial assistance of Rs 3.5 lakh each for the victim’s family.
Besides Railways, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also announced exgratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of those killed and Rs 50,000 for those seriously injured which is over and above any other assistance.
The UP, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh state governments have also announced financial assistance to the family of victims of the accident.
North central railway spokesperson said, a special train from Kanpur to Rajendra Nagar – Patna last evening left with the remaining stranded passengers. Several trains were running from diverted routes and some passengers trains were cancelled.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others leaders have expressed heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased.
The Prime Minister has asked the railways to work towards achieving the zero accident target to make train journey safe, assuring that the derailment of the Indore-Patna Express will be probed.
He made the remark at Rail Vikas Shivir at Surajkund on the outskirts of Delhi last evening where he along with Railwaymen observed two minute silence to condole the loss of lives.