Railway Safety Commissioner to probe into Hirakhand Express derailment
Bhubaneswar: The Railway Safety Commissioner under the Civil Aviation Ministry would probe into the derailment of Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express near Kuneru railway station Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh last night which resulted in the death of 34 passengers and left over 60 passengers injured.
Informing this to the media this morning, Anil Saxena, ADG, PR, Railway, said a total of 54 passengers have been injured. Those who had sustained minor injuries have been sent to their destinations after first aid.
He said the Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has directed the Railway officials to expedite relief and rescue operations and ensure all possible treatment to the passengers who have sustained grievous injuries.
“The Railway minister has expressed profound grief over the death of 34 passengers and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to each family of the deceased, Rs 50,000 for the passenger who has been severely injured and Rs 25,000 to the passenger who has sustained minor injuries,” he added.
He said the Railway authorities have made specific arrangements for safe return of the passengers to their destinations. “Out of 22 bogies, nine bogies and the engine have been damaged. We have detached 13 unaffected bogies and brought them back to Rayagada Railway Station from where they would be taken to Bhubaneswar through the diverted routes. Besides, arrangements have been made to provide dry food and drinking water to the stranded passengers. Apart from this, the passengers have been provided with telephone facilities at Rayagada Railway Station so that they would be able to contact their kin. We have expedited relief and rescue operations in the presence of senior railway officials. We have engaged ambulance vans, medical teams and rescue teams to ensure expeditious rescue of the passengers who have been trapped inside the bogies and provide them the best possible treatment at the earliest possible,” Saxena informed.
He said senior Railway officials from Vishakhapatnam and East Coast Railway (ECoR) officials from Bhubaneswar have also reached the spot and are supervising rescue operations.
He also said due to the mishap, the Up and Down line of Vizianagaram-Singhpur route has been affected. “We are diverting the routes of the some express and passengers trains through other routes,” he pointed out.
Saxena further said that the rescue teams are engaged in the rescue of passengers from three bogies which have been badly damaged. The team members are bringing out the trapped passengers by cutting the door and widow grills.
The Railway Minister, in the meanwhile, has left New Delhi to visit the mishap site and take stock of the rescue operations.