Six persons were killed on Wednesday after nine coaches and the engine of an express train heading to New Delhi from Malda town in West Bengal derailed in Uttar Pradesh's Rae Bareli. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announced an ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the family of those killed.
The toll is expected to rise with two more trapped inside the coaches, who are feared dead. "I have ordered an inquiry into the accident which will be conducted by Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) of Northen circle," Goyal said in a statement here.
More than 60 people were also injured when the New Farakka Express derailed near Harchandpur around 6.05 a.m. Nine have been critically injured, police said. All injured were rushed to the district hospital in Rae Bareli.
Goyal announced Rs one lakh each to those who sustained grievous injuries and Rs 50,000 each in case of simple injury. The Uttar Pradesh government would also give Rs 50,000 each to all those injured
Condoling the death of the people, Goyal said that he was in constant touch with the railway administration, and has directed all officials to effectively undertake relief and rescue operation and provide medical help to the injured.
Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani, Northern Railway General Manager Visheshwar Choubey have left for the accident site. The cause of the derailment was yet not clear.
Rescue operations were being handled by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams from Allahabad and Varanasi, who were rushed to the scene of the accident, the official added. An NDRF team from Lucknow was expected shortly.
Drone and long-range cameras, heavy duty gas cutters were being used to extricate the bodies and all those still trapped in the damaged coaches, a police officer said.
At least 13 trains have been diverted or short terminated following the accident.
(With inputs from agencies.)