Utkal, Train & Accident

 -Utkarsh Upadhyay
In one of the deadliest train accidents in recent times, at least 21 passengers were killed and over 80 others injured as 14 coaches of the Puri-Haridwar Kalinga Utkal Express derailed in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar area on Saturday evening. The accident occurred at around 5.45 pm in Khatauli, 25 km from Muzaffarnagar. Reflecting on the incident, Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said he was personally monitoring the situation and that he has directed senior officials to take stock of the situation and ensure speedy rescue and relief operations.
The cause of the derailment is yet to be ascertained. Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed all possible help. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased and said Railway Ministry and state government are providing all assistance in the wake of tragic incident.
Below are the LIVE UPDATES from the incident:
8.45 pm: The Railway Board has sacked Northern Railway GM RK Kulshreshtra, Railway Board Member Engineering Aditya Mittal and Divisional Railway Manager Delhi RN Singh in the wake of tragic mishap of Utkal Express.
8.30 pm: 22 casualties so far, 203 persons injured and undergoing treatment in various hospitals: Anand Kumar, ADG Law &Order told ANI
8.00 pm: General Manager Northern Railway suspends four officials–Senior Divisional Engineer and three others under him. More punishment from Rail Board shortly.
6.35 pm: More than 50 passengers who received injuries in the train accident have been discharged from hospitals while 102 others are still receiving treatment, the Uttar Pradesh government said.
6.30 pm: Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 Lakh each to the families of deceased in the Muzaffarnagar train mishap.
6.15 pm: Nearly 53 per cent of the 586 train accidents in the last five years were due to derailments with the Utkal Express derailment being the latest, PTI reports. Read more here.
5.40 pm: The list of deceased persons identified till 1 pm today.
4.53 pm: Restoration work underway at the train derailment site in Muzaffarnagar. 
3.45 pm: A total of Rs 25 lakh paid so far as ex-gratia to some affected passengers and the kin of the dead: Jamshed.
3.30 pm: The Government Railway Police has lodged an FIR in the Utkal Express derailment case for offences of causing death by negligence, mischief, destruction of railway property: Jamshed, Member Traffic (Railways).
3.00 pm: Railways admits to lapse by Engineering department of its Delhi division as prima facie cause of accident.
2:39 pm: A house owner near the accident site has said that he plans to file a case against the Railways for damages. “It took one and a half hours for authorities to get here. I will either file a case against the Railways or they will have to provide me compensation,” he told ANI.
The spot where one of the bogies of the Utkal Express crashed into a house close to the tracks. (Express photo by Gajendra Yadav)
2:29 pm: Strict action will be taken against our staff if it is found that they did not follow rules, Mohd Jamshed said. He added that the Railway Commissioner (Safety) will also investigate if rules and guidelines were followed or not and enquiry by him/her will be launched on Monday.
2:20 pm: Maintenance work might have cause accident, Mohd Jamshed Member Traffic, Railway Board, told reporters during an interaction today. He added that an initial probe report will be prepared by Sunday evening.
2:00 pm: A case has been registered against unknown persons for causing death due negligence, under Sections 304 A of the Indian Penal Code, among other sections, ANI reports.
1:45 pm: Railway traffic will be restored on Northern Railway’s Meerut line by about 10pm, Mohammad Jamshed said.
1:10 pm: A total of 156 people have been injured in the Utkal Express train derailment, many of whom are reported to be critical, Awanish Kumar Awasthi, Principal Secretary of Information, Uttar Pradesh government, told news agency PTI.
12:38 pm: “Minor repair work is carried out on train tracks across the country on a daily basis. If this is what affected the safety of the train here then it needs to be investigated,” Rajiv Kulshetra, GM, Northern Railways said.
11:11 am: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has directed the chairman of the Railway Board to ascertain who was responsible for the incident based on available evidence by Sunday evening.
10:50 am: The Ministry of Railways has released an updated list of injured passengers aboard the Utkal Express. The list includes those who have received injuries as well.
10.00 am: R N Singh, Divisional Railway Manager (Delhi), told news agency ANI: “We are hopeful that normal traffic will restore around 9 pm.”
9:40 am: The death toll in the Utkal Express train accident has gone up to 21, the Railways said in a statement. The number of injured persons has shot up to 97, out of which, 26 were said to have sustained serious injuries and 71 were lightly wounded.
9:10 am: Repair work has begun on the train lines. The railways is working to restore the damaged tracks as cranes clear the mangled remains of the coaches and debris from the site of the accident.
8:41 am: Northern Railway’s Meerut line has been cordoned off till 6 pm on Sunday due to the accident, a senior official with the Railways told news agency PTI. Trains scheduled to ply the route have been diverted or canceled.
12:00 am: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata too condoled the incident. She tweeted, “Deaths due to accidents pain us all. Condolences to families who lost loved ones. Safety must always be No.1 priority of Indian Railways.”
11:55 pm: BJP president Amit Shah expressed grief over the loss of lives saying, “Deeply pained by the tragic rail accident in Muzaffarnagar (UP). My deepest condolences to the bereaved families, may injured recover soon. I have asked the BJP Muzaffarnagar unit to join the rescue operation and help the people in need.”
11: 50 pm: According to a statement put out by the Railway Ministry, at least three trains have been cancelled including the Ambala-Delhi- Ambala Intercity Express and Haridwar-Puri Utkal Kalinga Express and six other trains, which commenced journey today, have been diverted.
11:35 pm: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi expressed shock and grief at the derailment of the Utkal Express.
11: 30 pm: Around 74 people are injured, admitted to different hospitals: UP Minister Satish Mahana
11: 10 pm: Rescue operations completed. All injured shifted to hospital. Restoration work will start now: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu
10: 45 pm: I am going to Muzaffarnagar train derailment site, our teams there are fully equipped. Will rescue stranded people asa soon as possible: NDRF DG Sanjay Kumar told ANI
10. 20 pm: About 60-70 injured people have been rescued, rescue opeartions are underway. About 20 dead bodies have been recovered so far: NDRF DG Sanjay Kumar told news agency ANI
Cranes have been called in to help clear the tracks. (Express photo by Praveen Khanna)
10.05 pm: Spoken to Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu and Health minister UP Sidharth Nath Singh. Ministry of Health is ready to provide all support: Union Minister JP Nadda.
10.00 pm: Muzzafarnagar authorities has setup helpline numbers: 0131-2436918, 0131-2436103 and 0131-2436564
9.25 pm: Medical Van from Delhi, Saharanpur and Accident Relief Train from Ambala have rushed for derailment site: Ministry of Railways
9.20 pm: UP Principal secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar said 11 dead bodies have been recovered and over 60 injured were brought to Khatauli hospital: ANI
9:03 pm: Extremely saddened to know about tragic accident of the Utkal Express in Muzaffarnagar. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased, tweets Union Minister J P Nadda.
8.45 pm: Sad at train derailment in UP; my thoughts are with deceased and their families. Injured are being rescued and provided relief
8.40 pm: The Railway Minister has also announced a compensation of Rs 25 thousand for people with minor injuries.
8.36 pm: An ex gratia of Rs 3.5 Lakh has been announced for the families of those who lost their lives and Rs 50 thousand for seriously injured: Suresh Prabhu
8.27 pm: Shocked to know about the unfortunate accident of Utkal Express in Muzaffarnagar. My thoughts with the families who lost their loved ones, tweets Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi.
8.26 pm: Railways Ministry and UP Government are doing everything possible and providing all assistance required in the wake of the train derailment: PM Modi
8.24 pm: Extremely pained by the derailment of the Utkal Express in Muzaffarnagar. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased: PM Modi
8.18 pm: The death toll in the Muzaffarnagar train derailment has increased to 10 as rescue operations are underway, Anand Kumar, ADG Law and Order told ANI.
Workers drilling mangled remains of the coaches to extract bodies.
8.05 pm: ADG Law and Order Anand Kumar confirmed that more than 50 people have been injured. He said ATS has been sent to the spot as precautionary measure: ANI
8.00 pm: Four people have been confirmed dead in the Muzaffarnagar train derailment, Railways spokesperson Anil Saxena was quoted as saying by ANI.
7.58 pm: First five coaches fine, 13-14 coaches derailed including two capsized.
7.55 pm: “I have seen few dead bodies, can’t say the exact number, many injured. Manoj Sinha ji has left from Delhi,” Muzaffarnagar MP Sanjeev Balyan was quoted as saying by ANI.
7.48 pm: No authentic information on casualties yet; trying our best to mobilise resources for rescue, relief ops: Railways spokesman Anil Saxena.
7.45 pm: 2 NDRF teams, comprising 45 personnel each, and two canines have been rushed to the Muzaffarnagar accident site from their base in Ghaziabad.
7.38 pm: MoS for Railways, Manoj Sinha, to visit the accident site with seniors officers, tweets Suresh Prabhu.
7.24 pm: Union Minister Suresh Prabhu has ordered inquiry into the accident to ascertain the cause and promised that strict action will be taken against any lapse.
7.18 pm: UP CM Yogi Adityanath has expressed his grief over the incident and help.
7.10 pm: In close touch with UP CM Yogi Adityanath, State Government officials, district administration to coordinate rescue and relief operations, says Suresh Prabhu.
7.05 pm: The derailment is likely to affect movement of trains on the busy Northern Railway route.
7.03 pm: At 20 people have been injured, according to eyewitnesses. Meanwhile, DG (Meerut Zone) Prashant Kumar said the number of injured persons was yet to be ascertained.
7.00 pm: Medical vans have been rushed to the site. All efforts being taken to ensure speedy relief and rescue operations: Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu
6.58 pm: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said he is personally monitoring the situation, adding that he has directed senior officers to reach the site immediately and ensure speedy rescue and relief operations.
6.50 pm: NDRF teams have been mobilised for rescue operation at Khatauli railway station, Muzaffarnagar.