At least 11 passengers were on Friday killed and over 60 injured, some of them critically, when an express train bound for Ernakulam in Kerala from Bengaluru derailed near Anekal, about 45 kms away.
As per railway officials, about nine bogies of the Bangalore City-Ernakulam Intercity Express were derailed after a boulder fell on the track.
The train had left Bengaluru at 0615 hrs and derailed at 0735 hrs between Anekal Road and Hosur on Bangalore City-Salem Section, about 45 km from Bengaluru, Railways said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, meanwhile, wished the injured a speedy recovery. “Railway Minister (Suresh Prabhu) and officials are closely monitoring the situation and ensuring timely relief,” added the PM.
Meanwhile, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said a boulder fell on the track and the train hit it.
“I am personally monitoring it and in touch with State and local administration,” he tweeted.
Prabhu said he has directed all senior officers to rush to the spot with help.
The Union Railway Minister has announced an ex gratia of Rs. 2 lakhs to the next of the kin who lost lives in the mishap, Rs 50,000 for grievously injured passengers and Rs. 20,000 for those who sustained less injuries.
Law Minister Sadanand Gowda has reached the accident site, near the border of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
The Railway Board Chairman had been directed to evacuate all stranded passengers, besides which medical help had been rushed, he said.
“Five deaths (confirmed) so far,” Bangalore Divisional Railway Manager Anil Kumar Agarwal, who rushed to the accident site, told a news agency.
“At least five to six persons have died. Exact number of casualties would be known after some time as rescue and relief operations are still underway,” said Karnataka Home Minister K J George.
Prabhu said an inquiry had been ordered to fix responsibility and for corrective action to prevent such unfortunate accidents. He said he was monitoring “action” regularly.
“All rescue teams are here, including police, medical and Railways. All measures have been taken to rescue the trapped persons,” George said. Relief and rescue operations are on in full swing with medical teams from both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu on the spot. Police and Railway officials said efforts were being made to reach those trapped inside the derailed bogies.
Two teams of the National Disaster Response Force have been rushed to the spot.
The injured have been rushed to hospitals in nearby Hosur and Bengaluru, they said.
Helpdesks have been set up at Bangalore City Railway Station and at the accident site.