Fatehpur (Uttar Pradesh): Tragedy struck on the tracks today as 15 bogies of a speeding Delhi-bound Kalka Mail derailed killing at least 38 passengers and injuring around 210 at 12.20pm, when the packed train from Howrah reached near Malwa station, nearly 120 km from Lucknow.
Railway Board chairman Vinay Mittal, who rushed to the accident site, said the cause for the derailment was being ascertained.
According to preliminary investigations, the signals were functioning normally and the fish plates on the tracks were intact. To a question, Mittal said the driver was not drunk. "I can't comment," he said on being asked whether he suspected mischief.
"Fifteen bogies of the train derailed out of which 10 are in bad shape. The exact cause of the derailment is being ascertained. The Commissioner of Railway Safety has been directed to probe the incident," General Manager, North Central Railway, H C Joshi said.
He said the train was moving at about 108 kmph when the accident occurred. "It was almost moving at the speed of 108 kmph which is full speed," Joshi said.
"Thirty-eight passengers have died. About 210 injured are undergoing treatment here," Joshi said, adding that efforts were on to retrieve the bodies stuck in mangled coaches and the toll was likely to go up.
"Rescue workers have not been able to enter two of the bogies," Superintendent of Police, Fatehpur, Ram Bharose said, adding the dead included women and children.
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.
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Updated Date: Jul 11, 2011 08:44:40 IST