The Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express ran off the tracks on 19th August at 5:46pm. The unfortunate derailing incident took place in Muzaffarnagar.
On the fateful Saturday evening, residents of Khatauli in western Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district heard a loud crash when at least a dozen carriages of the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express derailed.
Two of the coaches crashed into a residential area, hitting a house and a school building. About 23 people have been estimated to have died so far and over 70 injured in the accident.
A possible human error might have caused the accident. The government has ordered an inquiry which is also probing any possible foul play.
Meanwhile, here are the 10 latest developments after the accident:
- Jagat Ram, one of the residents of the house that was damaged when the train crashed into it, told NDTV that parts of the rail track in the area were being repaired over the last two days. Locals suspect that the driver of the Utkal Express wasn’t informed about the work.
- “Two other trains that passed through the area before this train had slowed down. This one did not. It came really fast and rammed into the house,” Jagat Ram said.
- Railway officials, however, are yet to comment on the cause for the accident.
- Railway minister Suresh Prabhu said he has ordered an inquiry. He said he was personally monitoring the situation and strict action will be taken in case of any lapse.
- Rescuers from the National Disaster Response Force or NDRF and various divisions of the police worked for hours on Saturday with gas cutters and cranes to find survivors.
- Mr Prabhu tweeted at around 11 pm to say that rescue work had been completed. Repair work on the line however will continue, he added.
- So far, authorities said, there has been nothing to suggest foul play in the accident though a team of the UP police’s anti-terror squad has been sent in to investigate.
- The Railways has announced a compensation of Rs. 3.5 lakh for the family of those killed, Rs. 50,000 for those seriously injured and Rs. 25,000 for people with minor injuries. State governments of Odisha and Uttar Pradesh have also announced compensation for the victims.
- Rail services on the line have been affected due to the accident with trains on the route diverted.
- President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath tweeted to express their condolences for the families of those killed.