20 killed, 50 injured after passenger train derails in India

Authorities Hint Negligence Caused UP Train Disaster

"Today a train derailed here causing coaches to fall upon one another", a statement issued by Uttar Pradesh police to local media said. "Free medicine is being provided to them", he said. The rescuers were seen using gas cutters to cut the steel and help the people trapped inside the coaches.

Two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams, comprising 45 personnel each, and two canines have been mobilised to the accident site from their base in Ghaziabad. Its chief Sanjay Kumar said 20 bodies have been recovered so far. The team headed by DSP Anoop Singh will probe any terror angle into the rail accident. Mahana said he had reached the accident site around 10.00 pm on Saturday. "Our first priority is to provide relief to the injured persons", the spokesman told Anadolu Agency. The train had left Puri at 9 p.m. on Friday night and was to terminate at Haridwar at 9 p.m. Saturday night.

Reports said the derailment is likely to affect train movements on the route.

Prabhu also announced Rs 3.5 lakh ex-gratia compensation for those who lost their lives, Rs 50,000 for the seriously injured and Rs 25,000 for those who received minor injuries.

"I am personally monitoring situation. Rescue operations are continuing", said G S Priyadarshi, a senior administrative officer, to the AFP. "Strict action will be taken against any lapse", he said. All efforts are being taken to ensure speedy relief and rescue operations, he said.

In a series of tweets, Prabhu said that Minister of State Manoj Sinha has rushed to the spot while the Chairman of Railway Board and Member Traffic have been asked to oversee rescue and relief operations.

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