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Death toll in U.P. train accident rises to 63

Fatehpur (UP): The death toll in the Sunday’s train accident near Malwan station on the Howrah-Delhi Grand Chord in Fatehpur district went up to 63 with 25 more bodies, including that of a Swedish national, being recovered from the mangled compartments of the ill-fated Delhi-bound Kalka Mail.

“63 bodies, including that of a Swedish national, have been recovered so far. About 250 are undergoing treatment at a hospital here,” Fatehpur Superintendent of Police Ram Bharose said, adding those who were seriously injured have been referred to Kanpur.

Mr. Bharose said the Swedish national has been identified as Wick from the statement of his injured compatriot Oscar, who was also travelling with him.

There is one more passenger from Sweden, who is reportedly missing, the SP said, quoting Oscar.

The derailment took place at 12.20 PM yesterday when the train from Howrah reached near Malwa station, nearly 120 kms from Lucknow. The train was moving at a speed of 108 km/hour.

Rescue operations continued throughout the night to extricate the trapped passengers and bodies from the damaged AC and other compartments.

“By tomorrow morning, the Howrah-Delhi route should be cleared off,” Railway Board Chairman Vinay Mittal said, adding that an inquiry by the Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety (Lucknow) Prashant Kumar has been ordered.

Mr. Mittal said there was no fault in the track and the cabinmen had told him that when the train was close to pole number 927/23, its engine started shaking and emitting smoke, soon after which the mishap took place.

Out of the 53 bodies, 21 have been identified, Mr. Bharose said.

According to preliminary investigations, the signals were functioning normally and the fish plates on the tracks were intact, Mr. Mittal said.

While some of the bogies had toppled, others were turned into a mangled heap of metal. Gas cutters and other equipment were used to slice through the metal in the AC and other coaches to rescue the trapped passengers.

On July 7, the Mathura—Chhapra Express had rammed into a bus carrying a marriage party at the Adhurpur unmanned railway crossing Kanshiram Nagar, about 250 km from Lucknow, leaving 38 bus passengers dead.

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