Last month, at least 140 people were killed after Indore-Patna Express derailed near same place.
In the recent update, Ministry of Railways clarifies that there has been no death reported yet and the number of people injured as goes up to 44, when 15 coaches of the Ajmer-Sealdah Express derailed this morning near Rura Railway Station in Kanpur Rural district, the second rail accident in the region in two months. The incident comes a month after over 150 people were killed and more than 200 injured when 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express derailed in Kanpur Rural district on November 20. Indian Railways is one of the world’s largest railway network. It runs 11,000 trains a day, including 7,000 passenger trains carrying more than 20 million people. But it has a poor safety record, with thousands of people dying in accidents every year, including in derailments and collisions.
Of the derailed coaches, 13 were sleeper class, while two were general coaches. Those critically injured were rushed to Akbarpur earlier, the district headquarter of Kanpur (rural). The others injured were rushed to a Community Health Centre in Rura. A medical train has been sent from Lucknow to the accident site, a Northern Railway (NR) official told IANS. Following the accident, routes of at least 21 trains were diverted, North Central railway official Amit Malviya told IANS.
The minister further said that ex gratia will be paid to injured and all passengers are being provided with necessary steps to ensure least inconvenience. Earlier, as per Indian Railways spokesperson Anil Saxena, there was no indication of any casualties and medical teams has reached the spot. He added that there could be some minor injuries due to the derailment.
While the police said two persons have been killed in the mishap, railways are yet to confirm the same. Arun Saxena, General Manager, North Central Railway, said no casualty has been reported by the railways’ medical team. A team of National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) was rushed to the accident site where the Ajmer-Sealdah Express derailed. “A team of NDRF has been sent to the accident site in Kanpur’s Rura from Varanasi to carry on relief and rescue operations,” a senior official of the NDRF told IANS.
The incident took place around 6 AM near Rura Railway Station, 70 km from here, when the train was crossing a bridge over a dry canal in the area, North Central Railways PRO Amit Malviya said. TV footage from the scene showed mangled, toppled carriages, some with their wheels still on the tracks. Two coaches had fallen off a bridge into a small canal. Some passengers were seen picking up their luggage from near the tracks.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said he was personally monitoring the situation. “We are making alternate arrangements for passengers to continue with their onward journey,” he said in a series of tweets. The railway minister said all assistance is being provided to those injured. “Personally monitoring the situation in wake of unfortunate derailment of Sealdah-Ajmer Express near Kanpur,” he said.
The Railway minister said ex-gratia will be paid to the injured passengers. All passengers are being provided with necessary assistance to ensure least inconvenience, “doing our best”, Prabhu said. Malviya said the Delhi-Howrah route via Kanpur has been temporarily closed and the Shatabdi Express from Delhi to Kanpur has been cancelled.
The Railways have issued helpline numbers for Kanpur — 0512-2323015, 2323016, 2323018 and for Allahabad –0532-2408149, 2408128.
Prabhu has promised to replace old tracks and upgrade safety apparatus. The government spends more than 90 percent of the railways’ revenues on operational costs, leaving little for upgrades for the colonial-era system. By some analyst estimates, the railways need $293.21 billion of investment by 2020, and India is turning to partnerships with private companies and seeking loans from other countries to upgrade the network.