In the worst rail accident in recent years, as many as 120 people were killed and more than 200 injured, while nearly half of them grievously hurt.
The tragic accident happened in the wee hours of Sunday, when most of passengers were sleeping. Most of the casualties have been reported from four sleeper coaches of the train — S1, S2, S3, S4 — which were badly damaged in the accident.
The coaches which were derailed include seating cum luggage rake, two general coaches, five AC?coaches – A1,B1 B2, B3 and BE, and six sleeper coaches – S1, S2, S3, S4, S5 and S6.
This is the second derailment in two days as the four coaches of the Bhatinda-Jodhpur passenger train derailed on Saturday at about 2 am leaving a dozen passengers injured in Rajasthan’s Sriganganagar district.
Acting swiftly, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu ordered a Commission of Railway Safety to probe into the tragedy and also announced Rs 3.5 lakh compensation for the families of those killed, and Rs 50,000 for those grievously injured. In his tweet, Prabhu warned that “strictest possible action will be taken against those who could be responsible for the accident”.
He said an investigation into the crash would begin immediately and compensation would be paid to “unfortunate passengers who died and to injured”.
Soon after getting information about the fatal train accident, Modi directed Prabhu to monitor the incident personally. Following PM’s direction the MoS Rail Manoj Sinha immediately rushed to the accident site– Pukhraya, which is 65 km from Kanpur, to monitor the situation at ground zero.
Commenting on the causes of the mishap, Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha said, “As per the first information, the inspector felt a jerk. Before he could do something, the train got derailed. Normally, engineers will investigate the cause of the accident but it appears to be a rail fracture.” Sinha rushed to the accident site from New Delhi soon after he came to know about the mishap.
President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Modi expressed their condolences over the loss of lives in the train tragedy.
Modi in a tweet said, “Anguished beyond words on the loss of lives due to the derailing of the Patna-Indore express. My thoughts are with the bereaved families.”
Modi announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of those killed and Rs 50,000 for those seriously injured in the UP train derailment, while Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav announced Rs 5 lakh each as ex-gratia for families of those killed in derailment and Rs 50,000 for seriously injured, while Rs 25,000 for those with simple injuries.
Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced Rs 2 lakh compensation for the families of deceased and Rs 50,000 for those critically injured. In total a family of the deceased would get about Rs 12.50 lakh compensation, while those critically hurt would get total Rs 2 lakh ex-gratia.
However, rejecting any prima facie reason, SK Agarwal, who is DRM of Jhansi division, said, “We cannot establish a prima facie cause yet. It is a serious accident.
Sabarmati Express passed through same route safely just nine minutes prior to the accident.”
Expressing her grief over the train accident, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and former Railways Minister said, “Saddened at the news of train accident. Thoughts and prayers with those families who lost their loved ones. May the injured recover well.”
Following the direction of Home Minister Rajnath Singh, three NDRF teams comprising of 135 personnel have been rushed from Varanasi and Lucknow to the accident spot.
Bihar government has also sent a three-member team to Kanpur to coordinate with the local authorities and help in the rescue of passengers from the state who were travelling in the train.
The team comprising of Pratayay Amrit, the principal secretary of State Disaster Management Department, Rial IG Amit Kumar and Inspector General Jitendra Kumar were flown to Kanpur in a special plane.
Chronology of major train accidents
May 28, 2010: At least 148 people were killed after the Gyaneshwari Express was derailed by Naxals in West Midnapore
September 9, 2002: 100 passengers were killed and 150 hurt after a bogie of Howrah-Delhi Rajdhani Express plunged into the Dhave river
August 2, 1999: At least 290 passengers were killed after two trains carrying a total of 2,500 people collided at Gaisal in Assam
November 26, 1998: At least 212 people were killed as the Jammu Tawi-Sealdah Express collided with derailed coaches of the Frontier Mail
14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express derailed at Pukhraya near Kanpur, in which as many as 120 people killed and more than 200 injured
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu reached at accident site Pukhraya to monitor the situation at ground zero
Railways Minister ordered Commission of Railway Safety to probe into the tragedy
Most of the casualties have been reported from four sleeper coaches of the train — S1, S2, S3, S4 —
which were badly damaged in the accident
This is the second derailment in two days as the four coaches of the Bhatinda-Jodhpur passenger train derailed on Saturday at about 2 am leaving a dozen passengers injured in Rajasthan’s Sriganganagar district
Rail fracture to blame? The train tragedy near Kanpur that left close to 100 dead could have been caused due to rail fracture, according to sources in the railways. While the exact cause of the Kanpur accident will be ascertained after the inquiry report, prima facie it indicates towards rail fracture, the sources said. Casualties also increased due to absence of modern Linke Holfmann Bush (LHB) coaches in the train, the sources added. Had there been stainless steel LHB coaches, then the damage could have been less.
Three NDRF teams comprising of 135 personnel reached at accident spot from Varanasi and Lucknow to speed up rescue operation
Bihar government sent a three-member team to Kanpur