Thursday, May 31, 2012

Five killed as Doon Express derails near Jaunpur

Neha Shukla  

5 coaches of Doon Express derails in UP
LUCKNOW: At least five passengers were killed and more than 50 injured when Doon Express (Howrah-Dehradun) derailed at Mehrawan station in Jaunpur district under Varanasi division of the Northern Railway at around 1.15 pm Thursday.

The death toll may increase as 10 people are seriously injured in the accident. While around 200 passengers were rescued by the local villagers before arrival of the officials, over 500 are said to be still trapped in the damaged coaches.

According to the officials in Jaunpur district administration, seven coaches, which included seven sleepers and two general, have derailed. The officials said that the driver of the Doon Express had seen some distortion in the railway track and as a result, applied breaks. Ten coaches along with the engine safely passed through the `damaged' track. However, seven coaches at the rear got derailed.

The place where the accident took place is 35 km from Jaunpur railway station and 70 km from Varanasi. Officers of the district administration along with ambulances and medical care reached the spot in half and hour. Senior officials including the divisional railway manager from Lucknow have also rushed to the spot. Officials from Delhi are expected to reach the spot by Friday morning. The railway minister is expected to arrive by the evening.

Hot weather added to the problems of the passengers. There was no shelter around and no drinking water facility. The passengers called up their friends and relatives in nearby districts for help. Some even called up media organisations.

The railways has dispatched three relief trains from Lucknow, Faizabad and Varanasi to the accident site. The relief trains will bring stranded passengers to Lucknow and Varanasi. A crane and a bulldozer from the Jaunpur districts have been sent to the spot to lift the damaged coaches.
The Indian railways has released two helpline numbers -- Faizabad 05278-220284 and Lucknow 0522-2234533.

The faulty rail track is being seen as the initial cause of the accident. Some officials believe the accident was caused due to the expansion of the rail track due to high temperature. "We can not comment on the reason for the 
derailment now," said Ashwini Srivastava, senior divisional commercial manager, Lucknow, Northern Railway. The officials did not confirm the number of causalities either.

The track has been closed for train movement. Officials said that it could be cleared only by Friday afternoon. As a result, several trains have been delayed. The routes of the trains are being changed to bypass the accident venue.


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