Lucknow, Aug 19 (IANS) At least four persons died and more than 20 were injured, some critically, when six coaches of the Haridwar-bound Kalinga Utkal Express derailed at Khatauli, 24 km from Muzaffarnagar in western Uttar Pradesh on Saturday evening, officials said.
The accident took place at 5.46 p.m. when some parts of the tracks were found ripped out. One coach rammed into a house on the sides of the tracks and two coaches climbed one over the other.
The train was headed from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand.
Railway spokesperson Anil Saxena told IANS that four passengers had died.
Earlier, Northern Railways spokesperson Neeraj Sharma told IANS that six coaches of the train had derailed and over 20 passengers were injured.
A team of the ATS of the police has been rushed to the accident site, an official told IANS. The team headed by DSP Anoop Singh will probe any terror angle into the rail accident. NDRF teams have also been rushed to the accident site.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath spoke to principal secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar and the Muzaffarnagar district magistrate (DM) and directed them to ensure prompt rescue and relief operations at Khatauli.
Two dozen people, many women and children have been admitted to nearby medical facilities for treatment. The train had left Puri at 9 p.m. on Friday night and was to terminate at Haridwar at 9 p.m. Saturday night.
Railway officials said a medical train was on way and that trains on the route have been diverted through Shamli.
Cutters and cranes have been requisitioned to cut the mangled remains of the coaches and rescue people from inside.
Additional Superintendent of Police, Muzaffarnagar, Ajay Kumar told IANS that police teams were trying to rescue as many passengers trapped in the coaches as possible.
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said he was personally monitoring the situation and a probe has been ordered.
“I am personally monitoring the situation. Have instructed senior officers to reach site immediately and ensure speedy rescue and relief operations,” Prabhu said in series of tweets.
“Have ordered an inquiry into the unfortunate accident to ascertain the cause. Strict action will be taken against any lapse,” he said.
The Minister said that medical vans have been rushed to the site. All efforts are being taken to ensure speedy relief and rescue operations, he said.
The Minister said that he was in close touch with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, state government officials, district administration to coordinate rescue and relief operations.
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