23 killed after Utkal Express derails in UP

13 coaches of the Kalinga Utkal Express bound for Haridwar in Uttarakhand went off the tracks on Saturday evening.

23 killed after Utkal Express derails in UP

At least 21 people were killed and at least 40 injured in a major derailment when around 13 coaches of the Kalinga Utkal Express bound for Haridwar in Uttarakhand went off the tracks with one of the coaches mounting on another near Khatauli, Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday evening.

A railway official on Sunday said that the Utkal Express was running at 100 kilometers per hour at the time of the accident, even as he sought to downplay reports that “maintenance work” was underway at the time of the derailment. “The train had 23 coaches out of which 13 had derailed. It was running at a speed of about 100 kmph when the accident took place,” DRM of the Delhi Division, R N Singh told news agency PTI.

“It was just some routine work. And, the railway minister has already ordered an inquiry. So, let the report come, I cannot say, anything more on that,” he said when asked about allegations made by several locals and some passengers that “maintenance work” was underway when the accident happened.

HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
  1. The accident occurred around 5.45 pm near Khatauli town, 40 km off Muzaffarnagar, leaving at least 21 people dead, the Uttar Pradesh police said. Railway ministry officials in Delhi, however, put the number of dead at 12 and the injured around 75.
  2. The train was coming from Puri in Odisha and going to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, normally a journey of about 36 hours.
  3. The coaches damaged were S1 to S10 sleeper class, third AC B1, second AC A1 coach and the pantry.
  4. Posses of PAC, ATS and NDRF teams, as also sniffer dog squads, were rushed to the spot to carry out rescue operations. Heavyweight cranes and gas cutters were being used to lift or cut the mangled remains of the coaches and extricate passengers stuck inside.
  5. Two of the deceased have been identified as residents of Saharanpur, the district magistrate said.
  6. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said restoration of the rail line where the Utkal Express had derailed was in full swing. Prabhu has ordered an inquiry into the derailment.
  7. Prabhu also announced Rs 3.5 lakh ex-gratia compensation for those who lost their lives, Rs 50,000 for the seriously injured and Rs 25,000 for those who received minor injuries.
  8. Principal Secretary (Information) Avanish Awasthi said Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the kin of the dead and Rs 50,000 for those injured.
  9. When asked by a reporter whether there was any terror angle in the accident, state DGP Sulkhan Singh said so far there was no such information, but “UP ATS will investigate into the causes of the accident.”
  10. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed extreme pain over the derailment and said the Railway Ministry and the state government were doing everything possible and providing all assistance required.
  11. At least 10 passenger trains on the busy route were diverted following the accident, a Northern Railway release said.
  12. The derailment of the Utkal Express also resulted in cancellation of three train services and diversion of six others.
  13. According to a statement from railway ministry, the 14521/14522 Ambala-Delhi-Ambala Intercity Express, 18478 Haridwar-Puri Utkal Kalinga Express and the 14682 Jalandhar- New Delhi Intercity Express, which will commence journey tomorrow, stood cancelled.