At least two people were killed and over 100 injured after eight coaches of the Ranchi-Jammu Tawi Muri Express derailed in Uttar Pradesh’s Kaushambi district on Monday afternoon, officials said.
The accident occurred at around 2 pm between the Sirathu and Athsarai railway stations in the Allahabad-Kanpur sector of the rail zone on the busy Delhi-Howrah route.
Three general sleeper coaches – S5, S6, S7 – and three air-conditioned coaches – three-tier B1 and B2 and two-tier A1 – along with the pantry car derailed while one coach capsized and fell in a ditch nearby, a district official said.
Medical teams have been dispatched from Allahabad even as local villagers from nearby areas are at the forefront of rescue efforts. The district administration has also been accused of being slow in responding to the crisis even when the accident site is just two kilometres from a busy highway.
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has offered condolences to the affected persons in the train accident and directed senior to go to the site.
Prabhu also ordered immediate action on anyone found responsible of dereliction of duty.
He also announced ex-gratia payment of Rs. 2,00,000 for those who lost their lives and Rs. 50,000 for those that sustained grievous injuries. Those with simple injuries will be provided Rs. 20,000 help.
Earlier, Uttar Pradesh government also offered assistance to those affected.
As a result of the accident, Allahabad-Kanpur Intercity Express, Sangam Express and Anand Vihar Terminus-Kolkata Express have been cancelled, North Central Railway PRO Amit Malaviya said.
Railways has rushed in relief and rescue team to Sirathu in Kaushambi and a relief train and medical team have also been sent to the site of the mishap for carrying out rescue operations.