35 killed, 200 injured in train disaster in UP
Lucknow, July 10: At least 35 people were killed and more than 200 injured Sunday when 14 coaches of the Kalka-bound Kalka Mail ran off the rails in Uttar Pradesh, leaving many passengers trapped in the mangled mess.
Villagers and rescue workers frantically tried to cut open overturned coaches and free people trapped in them even hours after the disaster at Malwan in Fatehpur district, some 150 km from Lucknow.
Seven of the coaches were capsized and badly mangled, including the pantry car and the air-conditioned coaches, officials said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed shock over the accident, the second involving a train in three days.
Thirty-eight people were killed in Kanshiram Nagar, also in Uttar Pradesh, Thursday when the Chhapra-Mathura Express rammed into a bus at an unmanned railway crossing.
The reason for the latest accident was not immediately known.
The derailment happened as the train, running at over 100 km per hour, was approaching the Malwan railway station shortly after noon and the driver reportedly applied emergency brakes.
The Uttar Pradesh Police put the toll at 35 dead and warned it could go up.
"Twenty bodies have been recovered... It won't be surprising if more than 50 people are killed. Many bodies are still trapped inside the coaches," Special Director General of Police Brij Lal told IANS.
More than 200 policemen joined villagers, who were the first to reach the site, to rescue passengers and take the injured to hospitals, he said.
The train, carrying about 1,000 passengers, was bound for Kalka in Haryana. It was coming from Howrah in West Bengal.
Pradeep Ojha, a senior development operations manager of North Central Railway (NCR), said a number of people were still trapped in the coaches.
"This train was going almost at full speed and skidded inside the station territory. About 10 coaches are in badly crushed condition," NCR general manager Harish Chandra Joshi said.
More than 200 people are likely to be injured, he added.
Rescuing people from inside the overturned compartments turned out to be a tough job in the absence of specialised equipment and professionals.
Some of the badly injured were put on large pieces of cloth and rushed to the nearest vehicle to be taken to hospitals in Fatehpur town, 17 km away.
Many of the injured limped with their luggage. Others looked dazed. A few crawled out of windows after breaking open the glass. Some passengers frantically appealed to their families using television reporters to seek help.
Both the central and the Uttar Pradesh governments announced compensation for the victims.
Minister of State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa told the media before leaving for the disaster site that families of the dead would be given Rs.5 lakh and the seriously injured Rs.100,000. IANS
Lastupdate on : Sun, 10 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 10 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 11 Jul 2011 00:00:00 IST
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