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Utkal Express Tragedy: Locals Narrate How Train Coaches Came Flying

While everyone flocked Chaudhary Jagat Singh’s house or were guiding mediapersons to find them, the previous night’s horror was quite evident here.

Nitisha Kashyap | CNN-News18

Updated:August 20, 2017, 2:21 PM IST
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Utkal Express Tragedy: Locals Narrate How Train Coaches Came Flying
Rescue work is on at the site of the train accident near Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh. (AP Photo)
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Khatauli: At the accident spot in Khatauli near Muzaffarnagar, where the Utkal Express derailed on Saturday night, one house on the side of the railway tracks has become an attraction site.

While everyone flocked Chaudhary Jagat Singh’s house or were guiding mediapersons to find them, the previous night’s horror was quite evident here.

One of the derailed coaches of the Utkal Express came flying into the compound and hitting an adjacent school along with Singh’s house. The intensity was so much that while two coaches toppled around, one collided into the house and the other hit a school.

Narrating the incident to CNN-News 18, Singh said, he was sitting on a chair outside when he heard the sound and the next moment he saw a train coach in front of his house. He fractured his leg in the impact.

"I have fractured my leg, but at least my family is safe," said Singh sitting on a cot.

Raja Ram, an attendant in B4 coach, said when he realized there has been a derailment, he ran to the passengers. “While I managed to rescue a few passengers, some in B4 received injuries when they started jumping out of the mangled coach during the rescue operations,” said Ram.

“Coaches A1 to S6 went off the track and the pantry car was missing. I could see coaches S1 and S2 mangled together in a mound, however, there were no casualties in B4,” he added.

Meanwhile, the authorities have made arrangements for passengers who were unhurt and fit to leave, to go home.

District Magistrate Gauri Shankar Priyadarshi told CNN-News 18, "We have sent more than 2,000 passengers to their respective destination in buses, therefore you won't get to see the passengers here."

In another development, the locals on Sunday alleged that they had seen some railway workers repairing the tracks, but without putting up a red flag to alert the pilot.

“When we were examining the tracks, we found a gap and some repairing tools lying nearby, indicating that there was some repair and maintenance work going on before the accident,” claimed a local resident.

To this, ADG (Railways) Bijaya Maurya, said, “An FIR has been registered against unknown persons. The matter is being investigated and senior officers are closely monitoring the situation.”

On asking whether track maintenance was a reason behind derailment, a senior officer said, “There could be a possibility but nothing can be said unless the investigation is complete. We will be speaking to the locals as well.”

On the second day of rescue operations, track restoration was still underway and derailed coaches were still being pulled off the track.
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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