The death toll on Monday mounted to 146 in the Indore-Patna Express derailment in Kanpur rural area as rescuers wrapped up their operation with little hope of finding any survivor after overnight efforts to pull out trapped passengers from the mangled bogies.
North Central Railways public relations officer, Amit Malwiya, said the toll has risen to 146.
The latest death was reported from a private hospital in Kanpur where a passenger from Urai district in Uttar Pradesh succumbed to injuries, the Chief Minister’s Office said.
Inspector General (Kanpur range) Zaki Ahmad said the accident site has been inspected with the help of sniffer dogs and the chances of finding bodies are nearly nil now. He said some of the injured in the hospital are in critical condition.
All the 14 derailed coaches of the Patna-bound train 19321 have been removed from the tracks. Many distraught people were sifting through the luggage and other belongings piled up at the site to look for any clue about their missing loved ones.
“I am looking for my brother. Who knows what has happened to him? He may have changed his seat... we have searched everywhere,” said Ramanand Tiwari.
After seeing bodies of three of his family members, Nirmal Verma was inconsolable.
“Whoever I tried to look for is dead. My brother, my elder sister-in-law, daughter....I haven’t found my mother yet. I fear I will find her in the same condition,” said Verma who was to travel with his family to a wedding but couldn’t get leave from work and was supposed to join them later.
While 120 bodies were pulled out till Sunday night, some others were found as rescuers later cleared the wreckage.
Chief Medical Officer Kanpur Ramayan Prasad said 133 bodies have been handed over to family members after post-mortem and free ambulances were provided.
Twenty-four bodies have been sent to Bihar, 25 to Madhya Pradesh and 56 in several districts of UP.
Eighty-three of the 202 injured passengers were admitted in hospitals of Kanpur and neighbouring Kanpur-rural districts while rest of them have been released, Prasad said, adding 73 of them were seriously injured.
Amid scenes of tragedy, a number of good Samaritans took it upon themselves to provide succour to the traumatised passengers and help out the rescuers and others on site and in hospitals by providing food and water.
The volunteers visited injured victims and the distraught families in the hospitals and distributed drinking water, tea, snacks and fruits among them.
Coaches S1 and S2 had telescoped into each other and most of the casualties were feared to have been in these two compartments. S3 and S4 coaches also suffered severe damage while an AC III tier coach was also affected but casualties in it were not heavy.
Officials had said that prima facie the cause of the accident could be due to track fracture.
A high-level probe had been ordered by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, who on Monday promised “strictest possible action” against the guilty.
Making a suo motu statement in the Lok Sabha, he said a separate investigation will be held aided by latest technical and forensic analysis.
Railways has made available the following helpline numbers -- Indore: 07411072, Ujjain: 07342560906, Ratlam: 074121072, Orai: 051621072, Jhansi: 05101072, Pokhraya: 05113270239.