At least 38 persons were killed and around 150 others injured when the engine and two coaches of the Dehradun-Varanasi Janta Express derailed near Bachrawan Railway Station in the district on Friday.
“There could be more casualties in the mishap,” Divisional Commissioner, Lucknow, Mahesh Gupta told.
The accident occurred around 9.30 AM near Bachhrawan Railway station, about 50 km from state capital, Lucknow.
According to preliminary reports, the locomotive driver apparently overshot the signal and as a result, the engine and two adjoining coaches derailed, Railway Spokesperson Anil Saxena said in Delhi.
The Indian Railways has ordered an inquiry and announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the next of kin of those killed in the accident. While Rs 50,000 will be given to those injured seriously, Rs 20,000 will be given to people with minor injuries.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has instructed Chairman Railway Board A K Mittal and Member Traffic Ajay Shukla to rush to the spot.
As soon as the news of the accident spread, people from nearby villages rushed to the spot to help in rescue and relief operations.
The villagers helped in extricating passengers trapped in the mangled coaches of the train.
The spot of the accident presented a devastating sight with one of the bogies reduced to a mangle of steel.
Ambulances carrying teams of doctors were rushed to the accident site to help passengers screaming in pain, eye witnesses said, adding gas cutters were being arranged to cut open the crushed compartments to pull out passengers.
Train movement on the Lucknow-Varanasi section of the Northern Railway has been disrupted due to the accident.
The injured passengers have been rushed to the district hospital. Rescue teams from Lucknow and Rae Bareli rushed to the spot and cranes have been deployed to lift the bogies.
Chief Medical Officer, Lucknow Dr. SNS Yadav said that 24 medical teams with doctors and paramedical staff, first aid
kits have been sent to the accident site.
“More than 150 beds have been reserved in Lucknow and the medical teams are ready to treat those injured in the accident,” he said.
“The CMO said that one paramedics in each hospital has been deputed to guide the injured,” Yadav said.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav also announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs two lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to the injured.