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Indore-Patna Express Accident: 145 Killed, NDRF Calls Off Search Operation

At least 130 passengers were killed and more than 200 injured, nearly half of them grievously, in the worst train accident in recent years when 14 coaches of Indore-Patna Express derailed here in Kanpur rural area in the wee hours today due to suspected rail fracture.

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Updated:November 21, 2016, 1:50 PM IST
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Indore-Patna Express Accident: 145 Killed, NDRF Calls Off Search Operation
Rescuers workers search for survivors at the accident site on Monday. (AP Photo)

Pukhrayan: At least 145 passengers were killed and more than 200 injured, nearly half of them grievously, in the worst train accident in recent years when 14 coaches of Indore-Patna Express derailed in Kanpur rural area in the wee hours on Sunday due to suspected rail fracture.

Hopes of finding more survivors faded on Monday morning. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) called off an almost 35-hour search and rescue operation in the afternoon.

The disaster, which took place just a little after 3am on Sunday, was most likely caused by a track fracture, railway sources said. There was no official confirmation of the cause of the accident till Monday afternoon.

Passengers were jolted out of their sleep as the Patna-bound train 19321 jumped the tracks, badly damaging four ordinary sleeper coaches in which hundreds were trapped. Of the four coaches, the S1 and S2 had telescoped into each other and most of the casualties were feared to have been in these two compartments.

Also Read: Kanpur Train Accident: Survivors Say They 'Saw Death Whisk Past us'

Among the dead, 62 have been identified. At least 20 are from Uttar Pradesh, 15 from Madhya Pradesh and six from Bihar and one each from Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Post mortem of 27 identified bodies has been done and they were handed over to the families. Ambulance facilities were provided to the families of the victims to transport the bodies, officials said.

An army man Prabhu Narayan Singh, Anil Kishore of BSF from Rohtas, Bihar, and UP police constable Lakhan Singh from Jhansi were among the dead.

As many as 76 passengers were seriously injured in the derailment, Ahmad said. 150 other passengers received minor injuries in the mishap.

Also Read: Indore-Patna Train Accident: Victims' Kin to Get Rs 14.5 Lakh Compensation

"Over 150 injured people have been rushed to nearby hospitals in the area. More than 30 ambulances were pressed into service," he said.

Officials said that prima facie the cause of the accident could be due to the track fracture.

Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha told reporters at the spot that it seems the cause of the accident is rail fracture.

Member (Engineering) of the Railway Board will find out the cause of the mishap and action will be taken against those responsible, he said.

A number of traumatised passengers were rescued. Many sat in daze for several hours near the wreckage as teams of army doctors, railway officials and personnel of NDRF, state PAC and other policemen, as well as locals, descended.

"We saw death whisk past us," was the common refrain among the survivors. Several passengers frantically looked for their loved ones.

Also Read: Indore-Patna Express Train Accident: Helpline Numbers

President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and a host of other leaders condoled the loss of lives in the train tragedy.

While Yadav announced compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the kin of each of the dead in the accident, Modi sanctioned Rs 2 lakh. On his part, the Railway Minister enhanced the ex-gratia grant from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3.5 lakh to the families of the dead.

The UP government will give Rs 50,000 to those seriously injured and Rs 25,000 for those with simple injuries.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who visited the injured in hospitals in Kanpur Urban, announced Rs 2 lakh for the kin of each of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured.

Suresh Prabhu told Parliament on Monday that a forensic probe had been ordered and "the guilty would be punished".

The Opposition trained its guns on PM Modi, saying he cared more about bullet trains and not the ones used by the common man.

Also Read: I Thought Our Train Had Collided with Another: Survivor Recounts Horror

(With PTI inputs)

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| Edited by: Puja Menon
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