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10 die, dozens injured after Utkal Express train derails in UP’s Muzaffarnagar

The Utkal Express, that travels from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, derailed at around 5:40pm on Saturday.

lucknow Updated: Aug 19, 2017 20:46 IST
S Raju and Vashistha Bharadwaj
S Raju and Vashistha Bharadwaj
Hindustan Times, Muzzafarnagar/Meerut/Lucknow
Utkal Express,Uttar Pradesh,Muzaffarnagar
People climb out of the derailed coaches of the Utkal Express that was travelling from Puri to Haridwar. (Manish Chandra Pandey/HT Photo)

At least 10 people were killed and several others feared dead after six coaches of a Haridwar-bound train derailed in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district around 6 pm on Saturday. (LIVE UPDATES)

Several people were reportedly injured but officials are yet to determine the extent of casualties in the derailment of Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express near Khataulli station.

Witnesses claimed that at least 20 bodies were taken out after cutting iron rods of the train’s windows.

Rescue work is underway, with teams of the National Disaster Response Force being mobilised to add to the efforts.

The railways issued helpline numbers for victims and families to seek help.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath directed principal secretary (home) Arvind Kumar to get in touch with DM Muzaffarnagar to supervise relief and rescue operations.

Senior administration officials from Meerut and Muzaffarnagar have rushed to the spot.

To check sabotage theory, additional director general of police (law and order) Anand Kumar rushed a team of anti-terrorist squad under deputy superintendent of police Anoop Singh to the site.

Varanasi-based deputy commandant, NDRF, Devendra Kumar said, “A team of 44 NDRF personnel equipped with rescue equipment have been rushed to the site from Ghaziabad.”

Railway minister Suresh Prabhu tweeted that he has instructed railway board chairman and other officials to oversee rescue and relief operations. “I am personally monitoring the situation,” he said.

UP health minister Siddhharth Nath Singh tweeted that the government has mobilised medical services and instructed chief medical officers of Meerut and Muzaffarnagar to extend all help to the injured.

Chief medical officer, Meerut, Dr Rajkumar stated that 26 government ambulances have been sent to the accident site for ferrying injured to hospitals in Meerut.

Additionally, 20 ambulances of private hospitals have also been rushed to the spot.

Dr Rajkumar also informed that all hospitals, including the medical college in Meerut, have been put on high alert.

Union minister Sanjeev Baliyan has also reached spot and a minister of state for railways has also rushed to the spot.

First Published: Aug 19, 2017 18:51 IST