Kanpur: At least 129 people were killed and over 200 others injured when 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna express train derailed near the Pukhrayan area in Kanpur Dehat district on Sunday.
The incident took place at around 3 am, about 100 km from Kanpur. Initial reports placed the death toll at 45 but the figure rise sharply by the end of the day.
The injured have been rushed to nearby hospitals in the area. All hospitals have been asked to be alert. More than 30 ambulances have been pressed into service, the inspector general said, adding that over 250 police officials are helping with the rescue and relief operations.
Railway ministry spokesperson Anil Saxena said several people have been rushed to nearby hospitals with injuries and the casualties may go up.
An accident relief train was rushed to the spot, he said.
Northern Central Railways spokesperson Vijay Kumar said that doctors and senior railway officials have reached the spot. Rescue and relief operations were being carried out by the district administration and railway officials.
Though the cause of the derailment was not known immediately, sources said the nature and timing shows that the accident was caused by a rail fracture. However, the exact reason would be known only after an inquiry.
Buses have been pressed into service to help passengers complete their journey, Kumar said, adding that the S2 coach was severely damaged. Four AC coaches have also been derailed.
Meanwhile, railways minister Suresh Prabhu has ordered a probe into the train tragedy.
“All rescue relief work on to deal with unfortunate accident. All medical and other help rushed. Enquiry ordered. Situation monitored closely,” Prabhu said in a tweet.
The railways has also released helpline numbers – Indore 07411072, Ujjain 07342560906, Ratlam 074121072, Orai 051621072, Jhansi 05101072, Pokhraya 05113270239.