32 people were killed as seven coaches and the engine of Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar, Hirakhand Express Express derailed near Kuneru station in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh on Saturday night.
The incident took place around 11 PM when the train was going to Bhubaneswar.
“Seven coaches and the engine of the 18448 Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Express derailed near Kuneru station. Besides the engine, the luggage van, two general coaches, two sleeper coaches, one AC three tier coach and an AC two tier coach derailed,” Chief PRO of East Cost Railway J P Mishra said.
“According to doctors at the site, twelve people have died in the incident,” he said.
“Four accident relief vans have been sent to the accident site. The reason behind the incident is yet to be ascertained,” the official said.
Terming the incident as “saddening”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Railway Ministry was monitoring the situation very closely and working to ensure quick rescue and relief operations. He also wished for speedy recovery of all those injured.
“My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones due to derailment of Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Express. The tragedy is saddening.I pray for a speedy recovery of all those injured due to the train accident,” he said in a tweet.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed deep grief over the tragedy and wished speedy recovery of the injured passengers.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu reviewed the situation with ministers from north coastal Andhra and asked them to rush to the accident spot to supervise rescue and relief measures.
“We are investigating the cause of the mishap,” the Chief Minister said, expressing anguish over the tragedy. “I have directed administration to undertake relief and rescue operations. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has expressed his condolences. He has also announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs 2 lakh to the family of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to the seriously injured,” he said.
An inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the circumstances that led to the accident, the CPRO said.
However, Rayagada Sub-collector Muralidhar Swain claimed, “Around 100 people are feared injured. The casualty may go up as many people are trapped.”
“Total 4 accident relief vans rushed from different places. Priority is treatment,shifting of injured passengers to nearest hospital. @sureshpprabhu personally monitoring situation,directed senior officials to reach site immediately, ensure prompt rescue and relief ops,” the railway ministry said in a series of tweets.