At least five people were killed and over 30 injured after nine compartments and the engine of the New Delhi-bound New Farakka Express derailed in Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday morning.
The cause of the accident is yet to be known.
The train had originated from Malda Town station in West Bengal at 9.05 am Tuesday and was scheduled to reach New Delhi at 2.35 pm on Wednesday.
Around 6.10 am, officials said, the train derailed less than 100 metres from Harchandpur railway station — Harchandpur is not a stop in the train’s route. Apart from the engine, six sleeper and three general coaches were derailed. Police said rescue efforts started soon after and five bodies, including that of a woman and her two children, were recovered.
According to a statement released by the Northern Railways, the dead have been identified as Ajay Puri (45), Shambhu (20), Anita Manjhi (45), Dinesh Manjhi (4) and Geeta (2) — all from Bihar.
“Around 30-35 people suffered injuries and were rushed to Harchandpur Primary Health Centre and the district hospital,” said Additional Director General (Law and Order) Anand Kumar.
District officials said that many among those injured were discharged after being administered first aid. Seventeen people, however, are still hospitalised.
Rescue operations were called off by afternoon but till the filing of this report, efforts to clear the tracks were on.
Around a dozen trains on the Varanasi-Lucknow route have been cancelled or short-terminated while routes of several others have been changed in the wake of the incident.
“A team of Commissioner, Railway Safety, has reached Rae Bareli and there would be a detailed investigation into the possible reasons for the incident. For now, there is nothing we can say on this,” said DRM (Northern Railways) Satish Kumar. “A special train and buses have been arranged to help passengers reach their destinations. Around a thousand people have been sent to Lucknow on buses and from there they would be sent to Delhi on a special train. We hope that in 24 hours, the tracks would be cleared.”
The Railways has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the families of the dead, Rs 1 lakh to those seriously injured and Rs 50,000 to those who suffered minor injuries.