38 killed, 150 injured as train derails in UP

Brake failure may have led to mishap; probe ordered

38 killed, 150 injured as train derails in UP

At least 38 people were killed and over 150 injured when the Varanasi-bound Dehradun-Varanasi Janata Express derailed near Bacharawan, about 60 km from here, on Friday morning. This is the third major rail accident in a span of 10 months.

The toll could rise further as many of the injured were in a critical condition.
Several passengers are believed to be trapped in the badly mangled coaches and rescue workers were using gas cutters to bring them out, railway officials said.

Though the officials maintained that the cause of the accident could be ascertained only after a probe, eyewitnesses said that the accident occurred due to brake failure.
Some passengers said that the train was scheduled to stop at Bacharawan but it did not as the brakes had failed.

Northern Railway officials also said that the train went past Bacharawan railway station and changed track. They said the driver may have overshot the signal.

The train was sent on to a separate track known as “thokar” line, a track that runs parallel to the normal track but ends after some distance. It reportedly hit the “thokar” following which the first few coaches derailed and climbed onto each other.

Eyewitnesses said that had the train not gone on to the “thokar” line, it would have collided head on with the Lucknow-bound Ganga-Gomti Express. The first four coaches, which included the general compartments, bore the brunt of the accident. The majority of the deceased were in the first two coaches, the officials said.

The injured were admitted to district hospitals in Raebareli and K G Medical University (KGMU) hospital, Lucknow. Some critically injured passengers were shifted to the super speciality SGPGI. A team of doctors has also reached the spot to help in rescue operations. Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Ahmed Hasan said that all medical facilities were being provided to the injured.

Reports said that the locals also protested against the delay in launching rescue operations. Some passengers said there were many injured at the nearby community health centre but there were no ambulances to take them to hospitals.

An ex gratia relief of Rs 2 lakh to next of the kin of the deceased has been announced by the Railways. The Railways has also notified helpline numbers and several passengers were sent to Lucknow in other trains. Movement of trains on the section was badly affected and several long-distance trains had to be diverted. A few trains were cancelled or terminated before their destinations, officials said.

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