Train derails in Muzaffarnagar, at least 10 killed, says local official

Frederick Owens
August 22, 2017

Rescuers and local people in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh worked into the night searching for survivors in the overturned and mangled carriages. However, the incident took place at around 6:45 PM.

The East Coast Railway has opened a helpline number - 1072 - to provide information on the accident.

The Indian government in 2015 announced an investment of over 137 billion US dollars over a period of five years to boost railways and modernise it on new lines.

A 2012 government report said nearly 15,000 people were killed every year on India's railways and described the loss of life as an annual "massacre". Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu ordered an inquiry into the derailment. "I am personally monitoring situation".

Patnaik also announced Rs 50,000 for those who got injured in the mishap.

The local administration is carrying out rescue operations and a team from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been at the scene. Medical vans have also been rushed to the site.

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Ajay Pandey, a senior police officer at the site, said: "We are struggling to pull out injured, and are waiting for gas cutters to arrive".

Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are two states which have been unfortunate to witness multiple loss of lives and property involving the railways. In Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh ADG (Law and Order) Anand Kumar said that top priority was being accorded to ensure prompt rescue and relief work.

"The train had 23 coaches out of which 14 had derailed".

As the authorities probed the reason for the crash, an unverified telephonic conversation apparently between two railway employees widely circulated on social media on Sunday hinted that "negligence" may have caused the accident.

He said the railways were probing the disaster from all angles and a case had been registered for "causing damage or destruction of railway properties, for mischief, for death by negligence, for causing grievous hurt, injuring lives by overlooking safety".

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