The damaged coaches after the Dehradun-Varanasi Janata Express derailed at the Bachhrawan railway station in Raebareli. (Press Trust of India)
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.
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.
News Agency Indo-Asian News Service reported that there was some disturbance in the area -- furious locals raised slogans against the administration and railway authorities, saying the rescuers took a long time to reach the spot.
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