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In a moment of national tragedy, fourteen coaches of the Indore Patna Express train derailed near Pukhrayan in Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, early Sunday morning, leading to the death of over 110 people and injuring 200 others. Following the incident that reportedly took place at 3:00 AM, police, NRDF and medical teams were rushed to the site for carrying out rescue operations.
Union Minister of Railways, Suresh Prabhu said that strictest possible action would be taken against those found responsible for the accident. In a series of tweets Prabhu noted that senior officials would be reaching the site as soon as possible to offer assistance. “Medical assistance of all kinds is offered. Rail mobile medical units rushed to site. All injured rushed to hospitals, immediate medical help,” the Railways Minister tweeted.
The coach numbers derailed in the accident were the Seating cum Luggage Rake,GS,GS,A1,B1/2/3,BE,S1/2/3/4/5/6. A total of 78 PNRs carrying 128 passengers were insured by the IRCTC. A total of Rupees 12. 8 crores would be rolled out as insurance pay.
Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha told reporters that the cause of the accident could be due to track fracture.
Taking stock of the situation Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Akhilesh Yadav directed the state Director General of Police to personally monitor the relief operations. He further announced that an amount of Rs. 5 lakh will be paid to family of each of those killed in the accident Rs. 50,000 to those seriously injured.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chauhan also announced a compensation of Rs. 2 lakh to the kin of each of those who lost their lives in the accident and Rs. 50,000 to those injured.
Describing the incident as being the worst railway accident in recent years, PM Narendra Modi asked railway officials to ensure a fool proof system system in train system in train operation to achieve zero-accident target. The Prime Minister, who spent more than two hours at the Rail Vikas Shivir, was given thematic presentations on various aspects of the railways, and later addressed the railway officers.
Among those affected, two boys aged six and seven were pulled out from an overturned bogie. Two other girls were reportedly trapped inside another smashed coach and efforts are being made to rescue them. Twenty year old, bride to be, Ruby Gupta, on the other hand, is desperately trying to locate her father who has been missing since the accident. She was travelling with her siblings and father to Mau in Azamgarh from Indore for her wedding when the incident took place. The accident left her with a fractured arm and her sisters have also sustained injuries. Stranded passengers were moved to Malasa station and a special train was arranged from there.
One of the passengers, Prakash Sharma had reportedly alerted a railway official that he had heard the wheels of the train make some strange sounds few hours before the accident. “I boarded (sleeper coach) S-2 of Indore Patna Express around 2 PM at Indore and after an hour I alighted at Ujjain on Saturday. I informed an officer in railway uniform in my coach about the strange sound of the wheels. But he didn’t take it seriously,” said Sharma who had alighted from the train 12 hours before it met with the accident.