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23 Dead, 65 Injured As Utkal Express Derails In Khatauli

 Agencies |  2017-08-19 14:42:12.0  0  Comments

23 Dead, 65 Injured As Utkal Express Derails In Khatauli

Muzaffarnagar: At least 23 people have lost their lives and 65 sustained injuries when 13 bogies of the Utkal Express, which runs on the Puri-Haridwar-Kalinga route, derailed on Saturday evening in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar. The local administration officials have rushed to the spot, and the railway officials are fearing casualties. Four NDRF teams are being rushed to the accident site - three from Ghaziabad and one from Delhi. Besides, 35 ambulances, bread, butter, 1,000 food packets, additional private and state-run buses were being arranged, officials said. Volunteers are being mobilized from adjoining Meerut. Medical colleges, district hospitals and large number of private hospitals were being prepared to receive patients, said officials.

Railway Minister has announced ex-gratia of Rs 3.5 Lakh for those who lost their lives and Rs 50 thousand for seriously injured. Rs 25 thousand for people with minor injuries in the unfortunate accident has also been announced. Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik has announced Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia to the kin of any Odia passenger dead in Utkal Express derailment. He also said Rs 50 thousand relief for those injured in the accident. Patnaik expressed concern at the loss of life in the derailment and directed commerce and transport department to work in coordination with Railway department and UP government to provide help to injured and kind of victims
PM Narendra Modi says he is extremely pained by the derailment of the Utkal Express in Muzaffarnagar. "My thoughts are with the families of the deceased. I wish those injured a speedy recovery. The situation is being monitored very closely by the Railways Ministry. Railways Ministry & UP Government are doing everything possible & providing all assistance required in the wake of the train derailment," he said.
The politics over the train tragedy has already started. Lalu Prasad Yadav has demanded the resignation of railway minister Suresh Prabhu. "How will people travel, there is no guarantee of safety. Railway Minister should resign," he said. "Rescue operations are underway. We have rushed a disaster management team to the incident spot," railways ministry spokesman Anil Saxena said in New Delhi.
The cause of the derailment has not been determined yet and police would investigate whether it was an accident or a planned attack, he said. India's state railways, built during British colonial rule, have an appalling safety record after decades of underinvestment and a priority on keeping fares low for the 23 million passengers who use the network every day.
In the previous serious accident, 150 people were killed when a train derailed in Uttar Pradesh late last year. India recorded 27,581 railway deaths in 2014, the most recent year for which figures are available, with most victims falling from, or being struck by, moving trains.

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