Death toll mounts to 145, Prabhu orders forensic inquiry
As the death toll climbed to 145 in the Indore-Patna Express derailment, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu on Monday ordered a forensic inquiry to look into all possible angles.
Talking tough, Prabhu in Lok Sabha said that guilty would be given strict punishment. Amid uproar in the house, Prabhu said, “All help is being extended to those affected by the Kanpur train accident. A detailed probe has also been ordered.”
As the Parliament witnessed multiple adjournments on Monday, the overnight effort by personnel of army, police and National Disaster Management Force helped in rescuing passengers buried under the debris. Till the filing of the report, 145 bodies had been recovered from the accident site, of which 123 bodies have been identified, while 110 bodies have been handed over to family members of the deceased.
According to Railways spokesperson AK Saxena, Railway Safety (Eastern circle), Commissioner PK Acharya will enquire into the causes as well as every other angle related to Kanpur train tragedy. Acharya has reached the spot and started the investigation, Saxena added.
Commenting on the train accident, BSP chief Mayawati said that if the money spent by the government on bullet trains was rather utilised to improve our railway tracks, the accident could have been averted.
Most of the affected passengers of the Indore-Patna Express belong to Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. The NDRF, police force and civil administration were engaged in relief work on war footing. The Indian Army also assisted in rescue and other relief works after 14 coaches of the train were thrown off the track at Pukhrayan, a town around 60 km from Kanpur when the train was midway on its 27-hour journey between Indore and Patna.
Passengers were jolted out of their sleep by a loud bang, following by violent rattling as the coaches leaped from the tracks and smashed up against each other. One of the coaches was flattened and trapped under another coach.