Utkal Express Derailment: All Passengers Evacuated, Says Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu
Muzaffarnagar, Aug 19: The Utkal Express, which was heading towards the town of Haridwar from Puri, derailed near Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar. The accident reportedly occurred at 5:46 PM near Khatauli station in the district. The UP DGP Sulkhan Singh, at nearly 9:15 PM, said the death toll has escalated to 23, whereas, 40 were left injured.
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Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu ordered an inquiry into the derailment. He said he was personally monitoring the situation and strict action will be taken in case of any lapse.
In a series of tweets, Prabhu also said that Minister of State Manoj Sinha has rushed to the spot while the Chairman of Railway Board and Member Traffic have been asked to oversee rescue and relief operations.
Two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams, comprising 45 personnel each, and two canines have been mobilised to the accident site from their base in Ghaziabad.
Medical vans have also been rushed to the site.
“All efforts being taken to ensure speedy relief and rescue operations,” Prabhu said.
The Railway Ministry was also in close touch with the Uttar Pradesh government to coordinate rescue and relief operations.
In Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh ADG (Law and Order) Anand Kumar said that top priority was being accorded to ensure prompt rescue and relief work.
He said PAC and NDRF teams have been rushed to the spot.
Since darkness was impeding rescue operations, he said the power department officials had been directed to ensure that there was no shortage of electricity.
Kumar also said IMA chapters in Meerut zone have been alerted and asked to ensure adequate and prompt medical care to the injured.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath enquired about the accident and directed officials to take all possible action, an official spokesperson said.
Adityanath has directed two of his ministers to reach the site to expedite rescue and relief operations.
(With inputs from PTI)