In one of the deadliest train accidents in recent times, the Kalinga Utkal Express derailed in Muzaffarnagar area of uttar Pradesh.The train was coming from Puri and going towards haridwar which is 36 hour journey. At least 23 people are dead and around 90 got injured. The accident occurred at around 5:45 pm in Khatauli, nearly 25km from the main city of Muzaffarnagar. 14 coaches of the train got derailed and destroyed a house nearby completely.
The cause of the derailment is yet to be established. Meanwhile the chief minister of U.P Yogi Adityanath has directed all possible help towards this tragedy. Prime minister Modi expressed his condolence towards the family of injured and dead.
Reflecting on the incident, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said he was personally monitoring the situation and has directed his officials towards the speedy rescue and relief operations. He also said that 4 senior officials have been suspended while other 3 has been sent on leave.
Eyewitness shares the story:
One of the eyewitness present said, he heard a loud thud and saw a flying coach in the form of a flying object which later hit his house. One of the coaches flew over the pantry car and remains there.while another one travelled towards a college nearby and crashed its wall.
Train driver says “not informed about any maintenance work going on”
In a new light of events it is being said that, there were some unofficial track work was going on in Khatauli, and the driver was not informed about it neither the workers put in warning signs. It is being said that 15 metres of track was removed for this work when the train reached at the point of accident. According to the laws, a train should be at around 10-15 kmph but Kalinga express was running at 106 km/h.
Seeing the train approaching at that speed the workers at the site ran for their lives leaving the replacement track and equipments there.
Rescue operations in full swing:
NDRF team dg Sanjay Kumar was present at the site and said “4 teams were pressed into action as soon as possible. We have removed a few body parts from under the debris, and once the coaches are put back on ground the rest will be taken out asswell’
Another senior NDRF member said that 165 personals along with sniffer dogs have been deployed for the rescue purpose.
For medical assistance medical vans were in place and railways are in constant touch with the u.p government for cordinance.
To make sure that the rescue does not stop during night time proper electricity arrangements have been made.
Trains cancelled and diverted:
The derailment of Utkal express lead to cancellation of at least 3 trains while 6 of them have been diverted to other routes.
The track repair work is underway right now at the point of accident and work is being conducted in full swing.