Three passengers were killed and 35 others injured after 10 coaches of the Ernakulam-bound Mangala Lakshadweep Express derailed between Ghoti and Igatpuri stations early on Friday in Nashik district of Maharashtra, the Central Railway (CR) said.
"Total 10 coaches ie S-8, S-9, S-10, S-11, B-1, B-2, B-3, A-1, GS1, SLR of 12618 Nizamuddin-Ernakulam Mangala Lakshadweep Express derailed at 6.25am," said a CR press release.
It said that one passenger died in coach number S-10 of the train while two others died in hospitals at Nashik and Ghoti.
Passengers who survived the train accident recounted harrowing experience as one of them said that he heard others trapped under the debris call out for help.
"I was brushing my teeth when suddenly there was a loud noise," Faridabad-resident Jayan, who was travelling from Delhi to Kerala, told IANS.
He was travelling in coach S-7 and had jumped out of the train.
Jayan's friend Krishna said they were now trying to move towards Nashik so that they can continue their onward journey.
AK Singh, public relations officer (PRO) of Central Railway, said that some passengers were taken to hospitals in Nashik and others were being treated in local hospitals at Ghoti, about 130km from Mumbai.
Senior railway officials, including the CR general manager, have rushed to the spot to monitor rescue and restoration work.
Railway authorities have cancelled seven long distance trains, including Godavari Express, and terminated one short distance one.
A railway medical aid train along with accident relief train have also reached the spot.
Railway authorities have arranged a special train from Igatpuri and 10 buses to ferry stranded passengers.
"A train with 22 coaches - one AC 2-Tier, one 3-tier AC, 13 sleeper class, five general second class and two general second class/Guards Brake Van - has left Lokmanya Tilak Terminus towards Igatpuri and will run as 12618 Mangala Express Special from Igatpuri to Ernakulam carrying the passengers towards their destination," the CR statement said.
Railway authorities have also set up the following helplines for the families of the passengers:
KALYAN 0251- 2311499
NEW DELHI 011-23341074/011-23342954
HAZRAT NIZAMUDDIN 011-24359748
(With inputs from PTI and IANS)