At least 91 people were killed and more than 100 injured as 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express ran off the tracks near Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh this morning.
The incident took place at around 3 am near Pukhrayan, about 100 km from Kanpur, at a time when most of the passengers were asleep. Television images showed several severely mangled coaches piled up against each other.
Northern Central Railways spokesperson Vijay Kumar said that doctors and senior railway officials reached the spot soon after the accident and rescue operations were underway. The cause of the accident was not known immediately.
Daljeet Singh Choudhary, a senior police officer, told NDTV that heavy machinery including gas cutters were being used to rescue trapped passengers. “It is a delicate situation,” he said.
Most of the casualties are reported from two coaches which are severely damaged, officials said. Stranded passengers were being taken to a nearby station from where a special train will eventually take them to Patna.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he had spoken to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu who was monitoring the situation closely.
Anguished beyond words on the loss of lives due to the derailing of the Patna-Indore express. My thoughts are with the bereaved families.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 20, 2016
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the National Disaster Response Force has been also been sent in.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu tweeted about the accident saying an inquiry had been ordered into the incident and announced compensation for the victims. “Strictest possible action will be taken against those who could be responsible,” he said.
Enquiry team will start investigation for cause of accident immediately All necessary assistance provided to the affected,We r taking care
— Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) November 20, 2016