At least 96 people were killed early on Sunday morning when 14 coaches of the Patna-Indore Express derailed near Pukhrayan area in the Kanpur Dehat district, officials said.
The tragic accident took place at around 3am near Pukhrayan, about 100 kms from Kanpur, when the passengers were fast asleep.
Rescue operations are under way since early morning and the death toll is expected to rise, railways officials said. Though the cause of the derailment is not known as of now, sources said the nature and timing shows that the accident was caused by a rail fracture. However, the exact reason would be known only after an inquiry.
The injured have been rushed to nearby hospitals in the area. All hospitals have been asked to be alert. More than 30 ambulances had been pressed into service, the IG said, adding that over 250 police officials were helping carry out rescue and relief operations.
Railways Ministry spokesperson Anil Saxena said several people with injuries had been rushed to nearby hospitals, and the casualties might go up. Accident relief train was rushed to the spot, he said.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have also reached the spot and have swung into action along with the police, pulling out bodies and providing aid to the victims.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the kin of deceased and Rs 50,000 for seriously injured in the accident. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also offered his condolences to the bereaved.
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu also announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 3.5 lakh for the families of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 for those critically injured in Patna-Indore Express derailment incident. Prabhu also announced compensation of Rs. 25,000 for those who sustained minor injuries. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadavhas announced ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each for families of those killed in derailment and Rs 50,000 for seriously injured.
Akhilesh Yadav has also instructed Arun Kumar Sinha, principal secretary of state’s health ministry to ensure no shortage of medicines and blood for the treatment of patients from the train accident. He has directed the Director General of Police (DGP) to personally monitor the relief operations.
Railways have launched the following helpline numbers: Indore-07411072, Ujjain- 07342560906, Ratlam- 074121072, Orai-051621072, Jhansi- 05101072, Pokhraya- 05113270239.
Kanpur Rural DM has also issued helpline numbers: 05111-271050; Police-05111-271577; magistrate hospital duty: 9454416414.
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