23 killed, more than 60 injured as train derails near Muzaffarnagar




NC Correspondent
Muzaffarnagar:  At least 23 died and more than 60 injured in a train accident on Saturday when the Puri-Haridwar Kalinga Utkal express derailed in Muzaffarnagar’s Khatauli station in Uttar Pradesh. The accident occurred at about 05.45 pm in Khatauli which is 40 kilometres from Muzaffarnagar. The train was bound from Puri to Hawridwar when the fatal mishap took place near Muzaffarnagar. 
The severity of the accident can be gauged with the fact that 14 coaches of the Puri -Haridwar Kalinga Utkal Express have been derailed, one of which rammed into the nearby college building.  However, the college was closed by then, sources confirmed. The cause of the accident is yet to be ascertained.
The official data of the casualties confirmed by ADG Law and Order Anand Kumar, goes up to 10 deaths and 50 injured. “Nearly 10 are suspected to be dead and more than 50 injured. The rescue operations are still underway,” Kumar said to the media earlier today.
Following the accident, the Railway Minister has announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 3.5 lakh for the relatives of those who lost their lives, Rs.50 thousand for those seriously injured and Rs. 25 thousand for the ones with minor injuries.


Relief operations have begun and immediately after the derailment, a UP ATS team, NDRF and an ambulance has been rushed to the spot for further relief.
Expressing his grief through Twitter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Extremely pained by the derailment of the Utkal Express in Muzaffarnagar. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased. I wish those injured a speedy recovery. The situation is being monitored very closely by the Railways Ministry. Railways Ministry & UP Government are doing everything possible & providing all assistance required in the wake of the train derailment.” President Kovind said, “Sad at train derailment in UP; my thoughts are with deceased & their families. Injured are being rescued & provided relief.”
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Aditya Nath said, “This has been an unfortunate incident. We have deployed the officers of the local administration, railways and a medical team at the spot. The state government will extend its complete co-operation.” 
Reacting to the incident RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav said, “How will people travel, there is guarantee of safety. Railway Minister should resign.” 
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said, “Shocked to know about unfortunate accident in #Muzaffarnagar. My thoughts with families who lost their loved ones.”

The mishap is likely to affect the movement of trains in the north-eastern region, sources said. 
Railways minister Suresh Prabhu said an inquiry has been ordered into the accident that took place around 5.45pm. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath rushed two ministers to the accident spot who were looking into the rescue and relief operation.

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