In a shocking turn of events, Patna-Indore Express ran off the rails; 145 people killed and many injured. The accident occurred near Pukhrayan station at around 3 am, about 60 km from Kanpur city in Uttar Pradesh. In the parliament, amid the chaos by the opposition members, Suresh Prabhu said that guilty won’t be spared.
This was one of the worst rail accident in India in recent history. Total 14 coaches derailed near Kanpur, leaving more than 100 injured and dead. The toll may rise as many passengers were in critical condition in the hospitals of Kanpur. Inspector General of Police, Kanpur, Zaki Ahmad said that more than 60 bodies have been identified. Most of the victims are hailing from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh states. The accident led to cancellation and diversion of several trains.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha and a host of top railways officials visited the accident site. These ministers supervised rescue and relief operations. Suresh Prabhu told Parliament on Monday that a forensic probe had been ordered and “the guilty would be punished”.
The worst hit coaches were S1, S2, S3 and S4. The train suddenly picked up the speed and rolled down a valley, a passenger said. Scared passengers tried to find their relatives but all vain. One passenger said “God saved me. But most of the people who were with me in the coach seem to have disappeared. I can’t find them”.
“The search operation at the site is almost over. I’m saying ‘almost,’ because they are trying to lift the coach with the help of cranes, and check if there are any bodies,” Indian Railways spokesman Anil Saxena said. “We can be sure only after the coach is lifted up and removed from the track.”
President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi mourned the dead and announced compensation for the affected people. PM Modi announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the next of kin of each killed and Rs 50,000 for each of the seriously injured. Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar governments have also announced compensation.
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