« Back to articlePrint this article

34 killed, 150 injured as train derails near Uttar Pradesh's Rae Bareli

Last updated on: March 20, 2015 19:40 IST

Image: Rescue work is carried out after the Dehradun-Varanasi Janata Express derailed at the Bachhrawan railway station in Raebareli on Friday. Photograph: PTI Photo

At least 34 people were killed and about 150 others injured on Friday when the engine and two adjoining coaches of the Dehradun-Varanasi Janata Express derailed near Bachrawan Railway Station in this district.

Coming from Dehradun, the Janta Express train was heading for Varanasi, when the engine jumped the rails and its first two coaches, packed with passengers, collapsed, leaving 80 persons trapped, railway officials told the media.

Image: Rescue operations continue at the site of the mishap. Photograph: Sandeep Pal 

Top railway and state government officials reached the site two hours after the mishap. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha were reportedly on their way to Bachhrawan.

The rescue operations concluded around 4 pm, with Divisional Railway Manager A K Lahoti declaring, “All bodies have been extricated as well as the injured passengers have been rescued from the mangled coaches. We will also shortly clear the tracks to restore traffic on the Lucknow-Varanasi section of the northern railway.” 

“The critically injured were sent to Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences and King George’s Medical University in Lucknow, while the others were admitted to the district hospital at Rae Bareli,” he said.

Image: The damaged coaches after the Dehradun-Varanasi Janata Express derailed at the Bachhrawan railway station in Raebareli on Friday. Photograph: PTI Photo

The accident occurred around 9.10 am. With a number of passengers strapped inside the first coach behind the engine, loud cries and wails of the survivors could be heard. The police had a tough time controlling local villagers, who rushed to the spot.

The trapped passengers could be brought out only after steel cutting machines reached the site.

“Prima facie, it appears to be a case of brake failure as the train failed to stop at the Bachhrawan station where it had a scheduled halt,” a railway official said. “The commission of railway safety will eventually determine the cause of the accident after carrying out a detailed inquiry.”

“Only 10 bodies could be pulled out initially from the door, while the remaining were extricated only after cutting the thick steel of the first coach,” the official said. “The brunt of the accident was faced by passengers in the first coach, which was a general unreserved compartment, while those in the second coach suffered minor injuries,” the official said.

The damaged train coach is being lifted to clear the tracks. Photograph: Sandeep Pal

Forty-eight year old Rajesh Kumar Dwivedi, who had shifted from the fateful coach barely 45 minutes before it derailed said, “Perhaps it was providential that I chose to move to a sleeper coach at Uthraitiya station, where it made an unscheduled halt.” Asked what prompted him to shift from the coach, he said, “Being an unreserved general compartment, it was crowded. So, I moved to a sleeper coach. God has saved me otherwise I would have also been among the dead.”

Meanwhile,  Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has announced an ex gratia relief of Rs 2,00,000 to  the next of kin of each of those killed and Rs 50,000 to each of the seriously injured and Rs 20,000 to those with minor injuries.

Helpline numbers: Bachhravan-09794845621, Dehradun-0135-2624002,  Lucknow-09794830973, Varanasi-9542-2503814, Pratapgarh-0534-2223830, Rae Bareli-0535-2211224, Haridwar-0134-226477, 226479, Barelly-0581-2558161, 2558162

Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow