Railway alarm for new govt

14 killed, 100 injured in train mishap in UP
Last Updated 26 May 2014, 21:33 IST

Just a few hours before the Narendra Modi government took charge on Monday, there was yet another train accident in which 14 people were killed and more than 100 injured.

A “speeding” passenger train derailed and hit a stationary train at a railway station in Uttar Pradesh, exposing the lack of safety measures in the Railways.

(According to a statement from the UP Home Department in Lucknow, at least 40 people were feared killed in the accident, PTI said.)

The Gorakhpur-bound Gorakhdham Express from Delhi hit the stationary goods train at Chureb railway station, about 225 km from Lucknow, on Monday morning. The incident highlights the area on which the new government should focus to improve safety conditions.

District Magistrate Bharat Lal told Deccan Herald that 11 bodies have been recovered so far and the toll could go up as more bodies could be there in the mangled coaches, he added.

Officials said efforts were on to extricate the remaining bodies from the mangled coaches.
Chief medical officer Dr Badri Vishal said 90 people were receiving treatment at the district hospital. “Fourteen people, who were seriously injured, have been shifted to a medical college at Gorakhpur,” he added.

There were conflicting reports about the cause of the mishap. The railway officials claimed that the train derailed at the outer signal of Chureb station and then rammed into the goods train, which was on another track.

Eyewitnesses, however, did not talk about a derailment and said the “speeding train rammed into the goods train”.

The station master at Chureb, D D Pandey, reportedly fled from the office immediately after the collision and is untraceable, sources said. An inquiry has been ordered into the mishap.

The impact of the collision was such that the passenger train’s engine was crushed while the general coach just behind the engine plunged on top of the goods train. Cranes were pressed into service to pull it down. In all, five general coaches and a second AC coach were badly damaged.

Most of the injured were residents of eastern UP districts of Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Deoria and nearby districts in Bihar. They were admitted to hospitals in Gorakhpur, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar.

The Railways announced an ex gratia compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the next of the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to the seriously injured.

Senior officials were camping at the spot to supervise the rescue operations. Relief trains were rushed from Gorakhpur and Gonda and the stranded passengers were taken to their destination.

Traffic on the section has been badly affected and several long-distance trains were either cancelled or diverted. Officials said the track was likely to be cleared by Tuesday.

(Published 26 May 2014, 21:33 IST)

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