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Air India chief Ashwani Lohani to be new Railway Board chairman; AK Mittal resigns

Air India chief Ashwani Lohani was appointed as the new chairman of the Railway Board on Wednesday after AK Mittal tendered his resignation following the recent train accidents, reported ANI.

Lohani who holds a degree in mechanical engineering has previously served as a divisional railway manager for the Delhi division of Indian Railways. According to a The Hindu report Lohani also holds the Guinness Record for successfully running the world’s oldest working steam locomotive called the 'Fairy Queen Express'. Earlier on Wednesday, railway minister Suresh Prabhu took moral responsibility for the accidents and had offered to resign, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked him to wait. Addressing a media briefing on Wednesday, finance minister Arun Jaitly said that the prime minister will take a final call on Prabhu's future in the railways. The NDA cabinet is scheduled for a major reshuffle as well. On Wednesday, 74  people were injured after the Delhi-bound Kaifiyat Express derailed near Auraiya district in Uttar Pradesh. Prabhu tweeted to say the injured have been shifted to nearby hospitals, and that he is personally monitoring the situation.

Passengers who were travelling on the train are being taken to Delhi in a rescue train, according to The Indian Express. The report added that Uttar Pradesh principal secretary Arvind Kumar confirmed at 8 am that the rescue operation had concluded.

 Air India chief Ashwani Lohani to be new Railway Board chairman; AK Mittal resigns

File image of Ashwani Lohani. Twitter

Senior officials from Etawah, Auraiya and Kannauj rushed to the spot and oversaw the rescue operation, Kumar told IANS.  Kanpur Divisional Commissioner PK Mohanty said the injured passengers — four of whom suffered head injuries —were shifted to medical facilities in Etawah.

All passenger trains scheduled to run on Kanpur-Tundla section have been cancelled and seven trains have been diverted due to the derailment, ANI reported. Uttar Pradesh Police also tweeted the emergency phone numbers of senior officers in the district.

The incident comes four days after 24 people died when the Utkal Express derailed near Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh.

After the derailment of Utkal Express, the railway minister suspended a few officials and sent a senior member of the Railway Board on leave.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Aug 23, 2017 17:33:40 IST