At least 40 passengers were killed and over 150 injured when Gorakhdham Express from Delhi derailed and rammed into a stationary freight train near Churaib railway station in Uttar Pradesh on Monday.
Six bogies of the Gorakhpur-bound train were damaged in the accident which occurred at around 10 am, railway officials and district administration said.
Railways has declared compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for those who sustained grievous injuries, besides Rs 10,000 to passengers who suffered minor injuries.
Chief public relation officer of north-eastern railway Alok Singh said the train derailed and the bogies crashed into the goods train, which was standing on the adjoining track.
The state government has announced free treatment to the injured and hospitals have been put on alert.
District magistrate Bharat Lal said assistance of paramilitary personnel was being taken in the relief work. Rail traffic between Delhi and Gorakhpur was affected and a number of trains diverted, railway officials said.
Sant Kabir Nagar is about 242 km from Lucknow and over 700 km from Delhi.
Kumar said the inquiry would be carried out by the Commissioner of Railway Safety North East Circle P K Bajpayee. Member engineering V K Gupta, member mechanical Alok Johri and director general of railway health services R Prashad had rushed to the site.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and other leaders expressed grief at the loss of lives.
Modi spoke to cabinet secretary Ajit Seth and asked him to take an overview of the situation to ensure timely assistance to the injured. “My condolences to families of those who lost their lives in the Gorakhdham Express tragedy. Prayers with the injured,” Modi posted on Twitter.
Monday’s crash is the latest to highlight India’s ailing infrastructure, a problem that Modi has vowed to make a top priority. The new prime minister has promised to build new inter-state highways and a network of bullet trains, as well as addressing severe electricity shortages.
At least 19 people were killed and 130 injured when a train derailed in Raigad district, around 100 km south of Mumbai, when the engine and some of the coaches of the train came off the tracks on May 4.