Muzaffarnagar: At least 23 people were killed and 96 injured in a major derailment when around 14 coaches of the Puri-Haridwar Kalinga Utkal Express bound for Haridwar in Uttarakhand went off the tracks with one of the coaches mounting on another near Khatauli, Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday evening.
A railway official on Sunday said that the Utkal Express was running at 100 kilometers per hour at the time of the accident, even as he sought to downplay reports that “maintenance work” was underway at the time of the derailment.
“The train had 23 coaches out of which 14 had derailed. It was running at a speed of about 100 kmph when the accident took place”, senior official of the East Coast Railway said.
The East Coast Railway (EcoR) has issued the following helpline Numbers: 1072, 0674-2490670, 0674-2534027. Other helplines are: Muzaffarnagar: 0131-2645238, Cuttack: 0671-2200568, Jajpur-Keonjhar Road: 06726-220599.
Moreover, the Chief Minister’s office announced Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia each for kin of the deceased from Odisha and Rs 50,000 for the injured.
A medical team comprising of Dr Kanhei Mohapatra (Orthopedician), Dr Rajib Jena (Medicine Specialist), Kedar Jena (Pharmacist) has been sent to Muzaffarnagar by the Government of Odisha along with medicines to take care of the injured.
At least three people from Odisha were reportedly hurt in the mishap out of total 96 persons injured.