Jaunpur: Five persons were killed and 50 others injured when seven bogies--five sleeper and two general coaches--of Howrah-Dehradun Doon Express derailed near Mahrawa station here on Thursday.
"Five persons have been killed and 50 injured in the accident," Superintendent of Police (SP), Jaunpur, Akash Kulhari said.
The accident took place near Mahrawa under the Lucknow Division of Northern Railway at 1.13 PM when five sleeper (S4 to S8) and two general coaches derailed, Railway Ministry spokesman Anil Saxena said in Delhi.
"While four of the coaches got tilted, three of them derailed. So the coaches which are affected are the 11th onwards from the engine, upto the 17th coach," he said.
The region, where accident took place, does not have good road connectivity. Relief and rescue teams have been rushed to the spot from Varanasi and Lucknow, a senior official said.
"We have directed the district magistrate to provide essential medical services. All nearby hospitals have been alerted to provide timely medical aid to the affected people", ADG Railways Gurdarshan Singh said, adding directives have also been issued to make arrangement of water tankers and eatables for those stranded at the spot.
He said Principal Secretary (Home) R M Srivastava has directed UP Roadways buses to ferry people from the affected area.
On the possible cause for the accident, Railway Board member A P Mishra said that exact cause has to be ascertained. It could have been "due to excessive heat causing track expansion or some miscreant activity," he said, adding that the railway track could be cleared by tomorrow morning.
"Assistant Loco Pilot has infomed railway officials that he had seen some obstruction in the track and he tried to apply brake. While 10 coaches passed, the last seven bogies derailed", Mishra said, adding that Railway Minister Mukul Roy is likely to reach the spot tonight.
On May 22 in Penukonda in Andhra Pradesh, 25 passengers were killed, 16 of them charred, and 43 injured when the Bangalore-bound Hampi Express rammed into a stationary goods train after its driver apparently overshot the signal near the station.
Meanwhile, Army also chipped in to provide "technical and medical" help as relief and rescue operations were still on at the accident site.
Senior officials including Divisional Commissioner, District Magistrate and railway officials reached the site to supervise the relief work.
"The death toll is likely to increase as some persons are suspected to be trapped inside coaches," a senior official said.
In a release issued by the Army, Defence PRO Group Captain Amit Mahajan said: "Indian Railways has sought technical and medical help from the Army in the Howrah-Dehradun train accident.
Consequently, two medical teams, one from Allahabad and another from Varanasi were rushed to the accident site, which reportedly does not have good road connectivity which is causing difficulties in carrying out relief work, the release said.
Besides, one technical column carrying heavy gas-cutters has also been sent from Allahabad" to the site of the accident.
The injured have been admitted at various hospitals in Jaunpur and Varanasi districts while over a dozen patients with minor injures were discharged after first aid.
Governor B L Joshi and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav have condoled the death.
Akhilesh also directed the officer concerned to provide best medical care to the injured.