blood on tracks At least 23 dead, 40 injured as train derails near Muzaffarnagar in UP, minister orders inquiry.
Muzaffarnagar : At least 23 people were killed and 40 injured, many of them seriously, when 14 coaches of the Kalinga-Utkal Express bound for Haridwar in Uttarakhand went off the tracks near Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday evening.
The Centre has rushed personnel from the Anti-terror Squad (ATS) to probe any terror angle. “Over 20 people have died and many injured people have been admitted to hospital,” Union Minister and Muzaffarnagar MP Sanjeev Balyan told reporters at the accident spot.
More casualties are feared as a number of passengers are lying trapped inside the mangled coaches. With nightfall, the railways were engaged in a grim battle to rescue the trapped.
The accident occurred around 5.45 pm when 14 coaches of the Puri-Haridwar Kalinga-Utkal Express bound for Haridwar derailed in Khatauli in Meerut-Saharanpur Division. The impact of the accident was so severe that one of the coaches mounted on another while another coach had crashed into a building along the tracks.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed extreme pain over the derailment and said the Railway Ministry and the UP state government were doing everything possible and providing all assistance required. He said the situation was being monitored very closely by the Railways Ministry.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has 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.