Utkal Express derails, 10 killed, over 50 injured

Lucknow, Aug 19: At least 10 people were killed and more than 50 others injured when 14 coaches of Puri-Haridwar-Kalinga Utkal Express derailed in Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district on Saturday, officials said.
Confirming the toll, ADG Law and Order Anand Kumar said that 10 people were killed and 30-40 others were injured.
He also said that 30 ambulances have reached the spot to help the injured.
Indian Railways spokesman Anil Saxena said resources were being mobilised for the rescue and relief operations.
“14 coaches got derailed. At this stage nothing can be said about the cause of accident,” Saxena added.
The injured were shifted to a local hospital.
Meanwhile, officials of the local administration have reached the site to coordinate rescue and relief works.
Two teams of the National Disaster Response Forces (NDRF), comprising 45 personnel each, were also mobilized for the purpose.
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Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has announced an ex-gratia of R 3.5 lakh for the next of kin of those killed, Rs 50,000 for the seriously injured and Rs 25,000 for people with minor injuries.
The minister has instructed the senior officers to reach the site and ensure speedy rescue and relief works.
He also asked the chairman of the Railway Board to oversee the operations.
“All efforts are being taken to ensure speedy relief and rescue operations,” ANI quoted the railway minister as saying.
President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have expressed grief over the loss of lives and injuries.
“My thoughts are with deceased and their families. Injured are being rescued and provided relief,” the president said.
PM Modi said the Railways Ministry and the UP government are providing all assistance required in the wake of the derailment.
“Extremely pained by derailment of the Utkal Express. My thoughts are with families of the deceased,” PM Modi said in a tweet message.
The cause of the derailment was not immediately known.
Neeraj Sharma, an official of the Northern Railways, said that alternative vehicles were being arranged for the stranded passengers.
The ill-fated train was on its way to Haridwar from Puri in Odisha when the derailment happened. (Agencies)