Utkal Express derailment: Death toll reaches 23, PM Modi offers condolences

Utkal Express derailment: Death toll reaches 23, PM Modi offers condolences

The death toll went up to 23 people in the Utkal Express derailment that happened on Saturday evening. Over 70 people are reported to have been injured in the accident.

Sources say that the accident happened because of ‘maintenance failure’, while the railways is examining all possibilities behind the derailment.

An official said that the train was running at 106 kmph, while the speed limit when a track is maintained must be around 10-15 kmph. He also said that the driver of the train should have been adequately warned about the hazard on the tracks.

Another official said that the train derailed after the engine and five coaches passed the spot safely, which would not have been possible at such a high speed if the track had been tampered with. The impact was so huge that one of the bogeys climbed onto another. While another crashed into a house, a third ran into a college.

Nine companies of Uttar Pradesh Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC), teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) have been rushed to the spot. There were 95 ambulances on duty. The NDRF later rushed its four teams comprising around 160 personnel to the train accident site to assist local authorities in rescue operations.

PMO has expressed condolence on Twitter.

Railway minister, Suresh Prabhu, also took to Twitter to assure that he is monitoring the situation and has ordered an inquiry into the matter.

UP chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, has directed all possible action. He has sent two of his ministers to reach the site to expedite rescue and relief operations.