- 14 coaches of Utkal Express derail near Khautali, about 100km from Delhi
- Train was headed from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand
- The accident took place around 5.46 p.m in Khautali in Muzaffarnagar
The accident took place around 5:46 pm in Khatauli in Muzaffarnagar, about 100 kilometres from New Delhi. The train was headed from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, a journey of about 36 hours. Television footage showed coaches piled on top of others while one carriage crashed into a house on the side of the tracks.
Rescuers from the National Disaster Response Force or NDRF and various divisions of the police worked for hours with gas cutters and cranes to find survivors. A large number of local residents were also seen helping out in rescue work. At around 11 pm, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu tweeted that the rescue operations have been completed and all the injured have been shifted to hospitals.
The minister said he has ordered an inquiry into the accident. "Strict action will be taken against any lapse," the minister tweeted.
Rescue operations have been completed.All injured shifted to hospital. Restoration work will start now.Still monitoring situation closely- Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) August 19, 2017
A team of the anti-terror squad or ATS of the police was sent to the accident site to conduct a preliminary inquiry. Authorities, however, maintain there has been nothing yet to suggest foul play in the accident.
Local residents of Khatauli town were the first ones to reach the passengers and pulled out many survivors. A 40-year-old woman, one of the many rescued by residents, said she was travelling in an upper berth. "There was a loud noise," she said. The screams and cries for help followed. "I still can't find my aunt," the woman said.
The accident hit train services on the busy Northern Railway route. The Railways has announced a compensation of Rs. 3.5 lakh for the family of those killed, Rs. 50,000 for those seriously injured and Rs. 25,000 for people with minor injuries. The governments of Uttar Pradesh and Odisha also announced compensation for the victims.
Railways Ministry & UP Government are doing everything possible & providing all assistance required in the wake of the train derailment: PM- PMO India (@PMOIndia) August 19, 2017
Railways has also released helpline numbers for updates on the accident.