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Utkal Express derails in Muzaffarnagar Highlights: Death toll rises to 23, railway tracks found broken, Cong targets PM Modi over accident

At least 23 people were killed and dozens of others were injured when 14 coaches of the Utkal Express derailed in Khatauli near Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday.

india Updated: Aug 20, 2017 00:54 IST
S Raju and Vashistha Bharadwaj
S Raju and Vashistha Bharadwaj
Hindustan Times, Meerut
Utkal Express,Muzaffarnagar,Train derailment
Coaches of the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express train that derailed in Khatauli near Muzaffarnagar on Saturday.(PTI)

More than 20 people were killed and 70 were injured as 14 of the 23 coaches of the Puri-Haridwar Kalinga Utkal Express derailed in Khatauli near Muzaffarnagar on Saturday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was extremely pained by the derailment, while a railway official said the track was found broken underneath one of the coaches.

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.

Here are the highlights:

12.15am: “Restoration work commenced. First coach, rerailed at 2355 hrs,” says Prabhu. “My heart goes out for the families,kin of the deceased and injured,” he says.

11.50pm: Suresh Prabhu says he has directed railway doctors to visit the injured in hospitals and ensure best possible medical help.

11.35pm: 74 people are injured, admitted in different hospitals: UP minister Satish Mahana.

11.30pm: A few train have be diverted. These include the Amritssar–Bilaspur Chhatisgarh Express, the Amritsar–Mumbai Central Golden Temple Mail, the Jammu Tawi–Delhi Shalimar Express, the Amritsar–Indore Express, the Katra–Anand Vihar Special and the Allahabad–Udhampur Express.

11.25pm: The Ambala–Delhi Intercity Express, the Haridwar–Puri Utkal Kalinga Express, and the Jalandhar–New Delhi Intercity Express have been cancelled for Sunday.

11.15pm: Northern Railway cancelled a few trains for Sunday, August 20, and diverted some on Saturday.

11.10pm: “The railway track was found broken underneath the coach A-1 and clamps were lying on other side of the track,” said a railway official.

11.05pm: Helpline numbers issued by Northern Railway:

Jhansi - 0510-1072, 2440787, 2440790

Gwalior - 0751-1072, 2432797, 2432849

Morena - 07532-226392

Babina - 0510, 2740027

Lalitpur - 05176-277283

Banda - 05192-227543, 227634

Dabra - 07524-224433

Datia - 9794825413

10.58pm: Railways minister Suresh Prabhu says rescue operations have been completed. “All injured shifted to hospital. Restoration work will start now. Still monitoring situation closely,” he says.

10.50pm: West Bengal CM and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee condoles deaths, “Deaths due to accidents pain us all .Condolences to families who lost loved ones. Safety must always be No.1 priority of IndianR,” she said.

10.45pm: Some of the injured people are being given medical treatment at the derailment site itself by NDRF personnel.

10.42pm: A dog squad is still looking for survivors at the accident site.

A dog squad personnel at the derailment site. (ANI Twitter)

10.37pm: NDRF DG Sanjay Kumar says he is going to the Muzaffarnagar train derailment site. “Our teams there are fully equipped. Will rescue the stranded people as soon as possible,” he says.

10.35pm: About 60-70 injured people have been rescued, rescue operation underway. About 20 bodies have been recovered so far, says NDRF director general Sanjay Kumar

10.25pm: “I have asked the BJP Muzaffarnagar unit to join the rescue operation and help the people in need,” says BJP president Amit Shah.

10.18pm: BJP president Amit Shah says deeply pained by the rail accident in Muzaffarnagar.

10.15pm: Finance minister Arun Jaitley says his “thoughts and prayers are with the families who lost their dear ones and with those injured in the Muzaffarnagar train accident”.

10.10pm: Home minister Rajnath Singh condoles deaths in Muzaffarnagar train derailment.

10.05pm: “Rail autonomy has been withdrawn, rail budget has been merged with annual budget to facilitate privatisation. The results are for us to see,” says Yechury.

10.02pm: “Instead of working on railway safety, focus on gimmickry and incessant PR has been the precursor for such disasters to recur more frequently,” says Yechury.

10pm: CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury condoles deaths in Muzaffarnagar derailment. “Condolences to families of the bereaved. We must ensure accountability for these accidents, which are happening with alarming regularity,” he says.

A coach of the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express train after it derailed and crashed into a house in Khatauli near Muzaffarnagar on Saturday. (PTI)

9.50pm: 10 trains have been diverted due to the derailment near Muzaffarnagar.

9.45pm: Around 100 passengers were coming to Haridwar, a 10-coach relief train is being run from Saharanpur, says MK Singh, station master at Haridwar.

9.38pm: UP Police re-issues press note, clarifies 23 killed and 40 injured in train derailment.

9.30pm: PRO of UP Police says the number of injured given as 400 was by mistake. “We will post the correct figure soon,” says DGP PRO Rahul Srivastava.

9.25pm: UP Police confirm 23 people killed and 400 injured in the derailment.

9.23pm: Union health minister JP Nadda asks central trauma care teams to remain on standby.

9.20pm: UP government spokesman says 35 ambulances, 1,000 food packets, more private and state transport buses and volunteers sent from Meerut.

9.15pm: “Since Modi government took over in May 2014, 259 passengers have lost their lives and 899 injured in 27 train accidents,” says Congress leader Randeep Surjewala.

9.11pm: 11 dead bodies and 65 injured brought to Khatauli hospital, says UP principal secretary (home) Arvind Kumar.

9.10pm: CM Yogi Adityanath announces compensation of Rs 2 lakh for kin of the dead and Rs 50,000 for the injured passengers.

9.05pm: National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) confirms 11 deaths and over 40 injured.

9.04pm: Railways minister Suresh Prabhu says he has spoken to Union health minister JP Nadda, and he has assured all possible help. “All possible medical help being extended to the injured,” says Prabhu.

9.03pm: Sonia Gandhi asks for prompt and expeditious medical aid and relief for the injured and a proper investigation conducted to ensure full accountability

9.02pm: Sonia Gandhi calls upon UP Congress workers to provide assistance to the affected families.

9.01pm: Sonia Gandhi expresses concern over the growing number of train accidents and railway safety. Urged railways and state governments to take adequate and immediate relief and rescue measures.

9pm: Congress president Sonia Gandhi expresses shock and pain at the derailment.

8.59pm: Odisha government sends officer from its chief resident commissioner’s office in New Delhi to the Railway Board chairman’s office for coordination about Odia passengers travelling in the train.

8.57pm: Officials of East Coast Railway said 86 passengers on the train were from Puri and were on their way to Haridwar. However, it was not clear if any of the 86 passengers were among the victims.

8.56pm: Naveen Patnaik says deeply anguished by the loss of lives in train accident. “My thoughts and prayers with victims’ families and the injured,” he says.

8.55pm: Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik announces that kin of any Odia passenger killed in the accident would get Rs 5 lakh ex gratia while the injured passengers would get Rs 50,000.

8.51pm: Meerut divisional commissioner Prabhat Kumar sounds high alert in Meerut division. Leaves of doctors of all government hospitals in Meerut have been cancelled with immediate effect.

8.50pm: CM Yogi Adityanath orders free treatment of all the injured.

8.45pm: Shocked to know about the unfortunate accident of Utkal Express in Muzaffarnagar. My thoughts with the families who lost their loved ones: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi

8.41pm: Some work was being done on the railway track but no one was informed, says Arvind Kumar.

8.40pm: Principal secretary (home) Arvind Kumar said the train got derailed due to the sudden application of brakes by the driver. Prima facie, there is no indication of sabotage, he says.

8.36pm: “Sad at train derailment in UP; my thoughts are with deceased and their families. Injured are being rescued and provided relief: President Ram Nath Kovind.

8.34pm: 14 coaches got derailed, says railways spokesperson Anil Saxena. “At this stage nothing can be said about the cause of accident,” he says.

People helping in the rescue effort after the train derailment. (HT Photo)

8.32pm: Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan says PM Modi is monitoring the situation and has talked to railways minister Prabhu and UP CM Adityanath. MLA from Odisha Ravi Naik will visit the spot.

8.30pm: Suresh Prabhu announces ex gratia of Rs 3.5 lakh for the kin of those who lost their lives, Rs 50,000 for those seriously injured, and Rs 25,000 for people with minor injuries

8.25pm: Seven UP state transport buses from the Sohrabgot depot have been rushed to the accident spot.

8.21pm: Twelve PAC companies have been despatched to Khatauli to extend help to rail accident victims and carry out relief and rescue operations, says A Satish Ganesh, IGP PAC (Central Zone Lucknow)

8.20pm: 30-40 seriously injured, 30 ambulances have reached the spot, says ADG Anand Kumar.

8:15pm: 10 killed in Muzaffarnagar train derailment, says ADG (law and order) Anand Kumar.

8.12pm:Railways ministry and UP government are doing everything possible and providing all assistance required in the wake of the train derailment: PM Modi

8.11pm: “I wish those injured a speedy recovery. The situation is being monitored very closely by the railways ministry: PM Modi.

8.10pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi says extremely pained by the derailment of the Utkal Express in Muzaffarnagar. “My thoughts are with the families of the deceased,” says Modi.

8.06pm: Yogi Adityanath says exact casualties not known yet. “Our two ministers Satish Mahana and Suresh Rana have been sent to the spot.”

8.05pm: UP CM Yogi Adityanath calls it an “unfortunate incident”. “We are in constant touch with the rail ministry,” he says.

8pm: More than 50 injured. ATS sent there as a precautionary measure, no confirmation of terrorism angle, says ADG (law and order) Anand Kumar.

7.56pm: Anil Saxena, spokesperson of Indian Railways, says four people confirmed dead in the train derailment.

7.55pm: Suresh Prabhu says he has spoken to UP CM Yogi Adityanath, who has directed two UP ministers also to reach the site to expedite rescue and relief operations

7.50pm: Emergency helpline numbers issued by railways.

7.45pm: How will people travel, there is no guarantee of safety. Railway minister should resign, says Lalu Prasad.

7.40pm: Two teams from the NDRF headquarters, comprising 45 personnel each, and two canines rushed to the accident site from their base in Ghaziabad.

7.37pm: Union minister Sanjeev Baliyan reaches accident site.

7.35pm: Suresh Prabhu says he has ordered an inquiry into the accident to ascertain the cause. Strict action will be taken against any lapse.

7.30pm: Meerut chief medical officer Dr Rajkumar says 26 government ambulances sent to the spot and the injured are being taken to hospitals in Meerut . 20 additional ambulances of private hospitals are also sent on the spot.

7.26pm: Minister of state for railways Manoj Sinha is heading for the spot.

7.25pm: CPRO says 34 injured people are being rushed to hospital

7.22pm: Locals involved in rescue work. Eyewitness claim at least 20 bodies of passengers have been taken out from the crushed bogies after cutting the iron rods of windows.

People being pulled out from bogies. (HT Photo)

7.20pm: UP health minister Siddharthnath Singh says medical services have been mobilised and he has instructed Meerut and Muzaffarnagar officials to ensure all help is extended to the injured.

7.17pm: UP Police launches helpline numbers.

7.16pm: Northern Railways CPRO Neeraj Sharma says alternative vehicles are being arranged for stranded passengers.

7.15pm: Railway minister Suresh Prabhu says he is personally monitoring the situation and has instructed senior officers to reach the site and ensure speedy rescue and relief operations.

7.11pm: Trains for Hardwar and Dehradun are being diverted through Shamli.

People gather at the site of the train derailment. (HT photo)

7.10pm: Dr Kirti Dubey, principal of Meerut Medical College, said preparations are being made in orthopaedics and surgery departments to treat the injured. Private hospitals have also been put on alert.

7.06pm: A team from the UP Anti-Terror Squad rushes to the spot from Lucknow. ATS deputy superintendent Anoop Singh is leading the team.

7.05pm: A team of railway officials and National Disaster Response Force rush to the spot from Meerut and Muzzafarnagar for rescue operations.

7.04pm: The train was travelling from Puri in Odisha towards Haridwar in Uttarakhand.

7.03pm: Officials said six coaches of the Utkal Express jumped off the tracks near Jagatpur colony of Khataulli, 40 km from Meerut town.

7pm: Television visuals show derailed coaches have crashed into a house.

Local administration officials have reached the spot and rescue operations are underway, officials in Delhi said.

6:45pm: The derailment is likely to affect movement of trains on the busy Northern Railway route.

(With inputs from agencies)

First Published: Aug 19, 2017 19:11 IST