Sunday, August 20, 2017

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Sunday said that he has asked for responsibility to be fixed, based on prima facie evidence, by the end of the day in the deadly Kalinga Utkal Express derailment in Uttar Pradesh. | Edited by Dev Goswami
New Delhi, August 20, 2017 |

1 At least 21 people die after Utkal Express derails in Uttar Pradesh.

Suresh Prabhusays responsibility to be fixed by day's end.

3 Restoration is the top priority, the minister added.

Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Sunday directed AK Mittal, the Chairman of Railway Board, to fix responsibility for the Kalinga Utkal Express derailment by the day's end.

At least 21 people died and 97 more were injured when the Kalinga Utkal Express, which was enroute to Haridwar in Uttarakhand derailed near Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday evening.

Railway Minister Prabhu, tweeting on Sunday, said, "Will not allow laxity in operations by the [Railway] Board. Have directed CRB to fix responsibility on prima facie evidence by end of day." The minister added that restoration work is on in full swing at the accident site in Khatauli, Muzaffarnagar. "Restoration is top priority.7 coaches tackled. Also ensuring best possible medical care for the injured. Monitoring situation closely."

The cause behind the deadly accident is yet to be known, though allegations from locals and passengers is that maintenance work was going on in the area just before the accident Saturday evening. A railway official on Sunday, however, sought to downplay those reports even as he said that the train was traveling at a speed of around 100 kilometers per hour.

"It was just some routine work. And, the railway minister has already ordered an inquiry. So, let the report come, I cannot say, anything more on that," DRM of the Delhi Division, R N Singh told news agency PTI on Sunday.

The Centre has announced a compensation of Rs 3.5 lakh for those who lost their lives, Rs 50,000 for those seriously injured and Rs 25,000 for those with minor injuries. This is in addition to the compensation announced by the Uttar Pradesh government - Rs 2 lakh for the kin of the dead and Rs 50,000 for those injured.

Meanwhile, trains passing through the Meerut line of the Northern Railway, where the accident took place, either stood cancelled or diverted until 6 pm today evening. Railway officials expressed hope that the line would be restored between 6 to 9 pm.


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