Railways rush to mend Delhi-Howrah route, toll reaches 68

Fatehpur (Uttar Pradesh): Even as salvaging operations are on in a war footing to restore the Delhi-Howrah rail traffic, tragedies mount for those afflicted as 30 more bodies including that of two Swedish nationals were recovered from the mangled compartments of the ill-fated Delhi-bound Kalka Mail that jumped off the tracks on Sunday taking the total casualty to 68.

"Fifty-three bodies, including that of a Swedish national, have been recovered so far. About 259 are undergoing treatment at a hospital here," superintendent of Police Fatehpur Ram Bharose said, adding those who were seriously injured have been referred to Kanpur.

 Railways rush to mend Delhi-Howrah route, toll reaches 68

A rescue helicopter flies above the wreckage of the Kalka Mail which derailed near Malwan station in Fatehpur district, on Sunday killing at least 53 people and injuring over 200. PTI

Bharose said the deceased 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 superintendent said, quoting Oscar.

The derailment took place at 12.20pm on Sunday when the packed train from Howrah reached near Malwa station, nearly 120 kms from Lucknow. The train was moving at a speed of 108 km an 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.

Mittal said there was no fault in the track and the cabinman 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 68 bodies, 21 were identified, Bharose said.

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

PTI

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Updated Date: Jul 11, 2011 14:22:44 IST