Nine coaches and the engine of the New Delhi bound New Farakka Express derailed near Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh early Wednesday, killing at least seven people and seriously injuring nine, officials said.
The accident on the New Farakka Express (14003) that was on its from Malda in West Bengal to New Delhi took place in Harchandpur area of Rae Bareli district at 6.10 am, Uttar Pradesh Additional Director General (ADG), Law and Order, Anand Kumar said.
About 30-35 people received minor injuries, he said.
Ten women and six minors are among the injured, railway officials added.
Four of the seriously injured are being treated at the trauma centre of Lucknow’s King George Medical University and two at the city’s Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, government spokesperson Shrikant Sharma told reporters.
The other injured were taken to Rae Bareli, about 80 km from the state capital Lucknow, for treatment, officials said.
Food arrangements were made for passengers, who were evacuated by buses to Lucknow to facilitate their onward journey.
A special train, which was arranged for the stranded passengers, will leave Lucknow for New Delhi at 2 pm, officials said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his anguish at the loss of lives. “Condolences to the bereaved families and I pray that the injured recover quickly,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted quoting Modi.
He said the UP government, railways and the National Disaster Response Force were ensuring all possible assistance at the site of the accident.
Railways Minister Piyush Goyal announced compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the kin of the dead, Rs 1 lakh for the injured and Rs 50,000 for those with minor injuries.
“I offer my deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and those injured in the accident near Rae Bareli. I am in touch with officials for relief work,” Goyal tweeted.
The minister has ordered an enquiry to be conducted by the Commission of Railway Safety, Northern Circle.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also announced Rs 2 lakh compensation for the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for those seriously injured.
The chief minister, who headed a cabinet meeting to condole the loss of lives, directed the director general of police, district magistrate, the superintendent of police, health authorities and the NDRF to provide all possible assistance to relief and rescue operations.
Sources said Chairman Railway Board Ashwani Lohani was on his way to the accident site.
An NDRF team, comprising 40 personnel, and senior officials from the state and the railways, reached the site of the accident.
According to ADG Kumar, the reason for derailment will be known after an Anti-Terrorism Squad is sent for an on-the-spot probe.
Emergency helpline numbers were set up at the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya junction, Mughalsarai, officials said.
All up and down lines on the route were blocked and officials suspect that the number of casualties may rise.