Thirty two people have died and over 50 were injured as two coaches of the Dehradun-Varanasi Janta Express derailed in Uttar Pradesh's Rae Bareli district.
The accident took place around 9.10 on Friday morning as the train was coming to a stop at the Bachhrawan railway station - 30 km from Rae Bareli.
It was likely that there was a brake failure, news agency ANI quoted railway sources as saying. The engine overshot the signal, two compartments were derailed.
One of the coaches, which was a general compartment, has been crushed by the impact -- the rescue work took around 6 hours. The other was a guard compartment which is likely to have been vacant. If not for the vacant coach, the number of casualties would have been higher, officials told NDTV.
In a series of tweets, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said Railways has been prioritising safety as a "thrust area". An inquiry has been ordered into the incident, he also said.
This budget I focused on Safety as I feel saddened by loss of life and injuries to our valued passengers. We must modernise crumbling infraSuresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) March 20, 2015
Neglect of past or limited budget resource can't be the reason for accidents, though it takes some time to neutralise past inaction we willSuresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) March 20, 2015
Gas cutters were used to get the injured people out of the mangled compartments. A team of doctors from Lucknow's King George Medical University have been sent to the spot to treat the injured.
An ex gratia of Rs. 2 lakh has been declared for the next of kin of the deceased, those injured will be given Rs. 50000.
The accident has disrupted train services in the New Delhi-Lucknow-Varanasi sector.
Following are the helpline numbers released by the Railways:
Rae Bareli 0535-2211224
Dehradun 0135-2624002, 2625003
Haridwar 0134-226477, 226479
Bareilly 0581-2558161, 2558162