Pukhraya (Kanpur): At least 107 passengers were killed and over 226 injured – 76 of them seriously – when 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express derailed near Pukhraya in Kanpur dehat district in the wee hours on Sunday.
Four coaches of the train – S1, S2, S3, S4- were badly damaged in the mishap that took place at around 3 am near Pukhraya. Most of the passengers were jolted out of their sleep to find themselves among mangled remains of the bogies.
“90 bodies have been pulled out so far. There can be more bodies trapped,” Superintendent of Police, Kanpur Dehat Prabhakar Chowdhury told PTI over phone earlier. The toll has since increased to 107.
IG (Kanpur range) Zaki Ahmed said, “Over 150 injured people have been rushed to nearby hospitals in the area. All hospitals have been asked to be alert. More than 30 ambulances have been pressed into service.”
A team of Army doctors and rescue officials have arrived at the spot. 250 police officials are also involved in carrying out the rescue and relief operations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives in the train tragedy.
“Anguished beyond words on the loss of lives due to the derailing of the Patna-Indore express. My thoughts are with the bereaved families,” he said in a tweet.
He announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh each to kin of the deceased.
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has ordered a probe into the train tragedy and announced ex-gratia for the families of the victims.
Rs 3.5 lakh exgratia will be given for the families of those killed in the derailment and Rs 50,000 for those grievously injured, he said.
Prabhu said the Commissioner of Railway Safety will probe the reasons behind the derailment.
“All rescue and relief work is on to deal with the unfortunate accident. All medical and other help rushed.
Inquiry ordered. Situation monitored closely,” Prabhu said.
Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha along with four senior railway officials have rushed to the accident spot.
MOS Railway Rajen Gohain said a fault in the tracks may have led to the derailment.
“We haven’t seen an incident like this in Indian Railways for a long time because we have taken a lot of safety measures.
“Earlier these kind of accidents used to happen because of the negligence of the driver but despite taking all safety measures this tragic incident took place. This is a cause of concern and we are investigating the reasons behind it.
“There must be a fault in the track as 14 bogeys have derailed and this happened despite regular checking of the tracks,” he said.