Two passengers were killed and seven others injured when nine coaches of Mumbai bound Duranto Express from Secunderabad derailed near Kalaburgi in Karnataka in the wee hours on Saturday.
The accident occurred at Martur station, about 20 km from Kalaburgi, around 2.15 am, Assistant Divisional Railway Manager (Solapur) K Madhusudhan said.
The deceased, who were travelling from Hyderabad to Mumbai, had been identified as Pushpalatha, 40, and Jyoti, 28, he said. The injured have been admitted to a hospital in Gulbarga where the condition of three was stated to be serious, he added.
An inquiry by Commissioner of Railway Safety (Central circle) has been ordered into the derailment by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and it would ascertain the cause of the mishap, Railway Board Chairman A K Mittal said.
"Saddened by Duranto accident. Ordered enquiry. Immediate medical relief & other assistance rushed. Chairman Rail Board asked to rush," Prabhu tweeted, expressing grief over the accident.
Railways have also announced ex-gratia relief of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of those killed, Rs 50,000 to each of the grievously injured, and Rs 25,000 to those with simple injuries, Mittal said.
Railway spokesperson Anil Saxena said the train left for its onward journey with the other coaches and one line has been restored. No passenger was stranded.
Madhusudhan said 700 personnel of police, railways and CRPF and other agencies were involved in rescue operations, which were expected to be completed by midnight.
North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation buses were pressed into service free of cost to ferry passengers to their respective destinations, Madhusudhan said.
Helpline numbers: Gulbarga: 0847-2255066/2255067, Secunderabad: 040-27700968, Solapur: 0217-2313331, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus: 022-22694040, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus: 022-25280005, Kalyan: 0251-2311499.