At least 45 people were killed and over 150 injured when 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express derailed near Pukhrayan in Kanpur dehat district in the wee hours on Sunday (20 November).
The mishap took place at around 3 am near Pukhrayan, about 100 kms from Kanpur, when the passengers were fast asleep.
“As of now 45 persons have died in the incident,” UP ADG, Law and Order, Daljeet Chowdhury 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,” IG (Kanpur range) Zaki Ahmed told PTI.
Over 250 police officials are involved in carrying out the rescue and relief operations.
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has ordered a probe into the train tragedy.
“All rescue relief work is on to deal with the unfortunate accident. All medical and other help rushed.
Inquiry ordered. Situation monitored closely,” Prabhu said in a tweet.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has instructed the DGP to personally monitor the relief operations and deploy traffic police along the route of the mishap site to ensure green corridor for ambulances to reach hospitals quickly.
Kanpur district officials have been instructed to take support of Indian Medical Association to avail the services of more doctors for extending medical support to train accident patients, the CM said.
More ambulances/roadways buses have been rushed to the spot for speedy relief operations, the CM said.
DG Health & ADG (Law and Order) have also been rushed to the accident spot to monitor the relief operations.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed grief over the loss of lives in the derailment of the Patna-Indore Express.
“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.
“Prayers with those injured in the tragic train accident.
I’ve spoken to @sureshpprabhu, who is personally monitoring the situation closely,” Modi said.
Prabhu, said in a tweet the government would immediately investigate the causes of the derailment and promised accountability with the “strictest possible action.”
India’s creaking railway system is the world’s fourth largest, ferrying more than 20 million people each day, but it has a poor safety record, with thousands of people dying in accidents every year.
The nation suffers frequent train derailments, sometimes with tragic consequences, including another train accident in Uttar Pradesh in March last year that killed 39 people and injured 150.