Four accident relief vans were rushed from different places, along with several ambulances and doctors.

Hirakhand Express derails in Andhra Rescue operations in full swing NDRF and RPF deployedImage: Twitter/Dinesh Akula
news Accident Sunday, January 22, 2017 - 09:02

Passengers travelling in the Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express were woken up with a loud ‘bang’ on Saturday night after seven coaches of the train derailed near Kuneru station in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh.

The incident took place around 11.30 pm when the train was going from Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh) to Odisha’s capital Bhubaneswar.

“We were all asleep when the train suddenly shook. Next minute, I saw dead bodies everywhere,” a woman told local media channels, as she broke down.

At least 36 bodies have been recovered from the debris as of Sunday morning and around 50 people have been injured.

Eight people are critical.

“We got the news at around midnight. We reached there by 12.20 am,” said Ranga Rao, Superintendent of Police, Vizianagaram district.

More than 200 policemen reached the spot along with personnel of the Railway Protection Force to rescue people.

“We got nearly ten ambulances and eight doctors with nurses on the spot, to give quick help to the injured people. Most of them have been shifted to hospitals at Parbatipuram and Rayagada. But the eight people who are very critical have been shifted to KGH hospital in Visakhapatnam,” Rao added.

Reports suggested that, as there was complete darkness at the accident site, it took time for authorities to launch rescue and relief operations.

Ministry of railways said four accident relief vans were rushed from different places. "All rescue and relief apparatus mobilised immediately," it tweeted.

13 NDRF personnel also joined the rescue operations later.

“The engine and seven coaches, including two general coaches, two sleeper coaches and two AC coaches, derailed in the accident which occurred near Kuneru station,” said Chief PRO of East Coast Railway JP Mishra.

He also said that within one hour, Divisional Railway Manager, Chandralekha Mukherjee and General Manager of East Coast Railway arrived at the accident spot.

“A medical team from Raigarh, Orissa and Vizianagaram were immediately sent to the spot. Local security and railway officers also helped in the rescue operation,” he added.

He also stated that Rs 50,000 compensation was announced for the severely injured, while a compensation of Rs 25,000 would be provided for those who got injured in the accident.

Rs 2 lakh would be provided to the kin of the deceased.

The train ran off the track minutes after it entered Andhra Pradesh from Odisha.

The train, which passes through part of north coastal Andhra before re-entering Odisha, ran off the tracks minutes after it entered the Telugu state.

While the reason for the accident is still unclear, Saxena also told the media that the ‘naxal angle’ would be probed.

Railways have set up helplines at various stations in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha to provide information about the accident.

The numbers for Vizianagaram are: 83331, 83332, 83333, 83334, 08922-221202, 08922-221206

Visakhapatnam: 83003, 83005, 83006, 0891-2746344, 0891-2746330, 08500358610, 08500358712

Rayagada: 06856-223400, 06856-223500, 09439741181, 09439741071, 07681878777

Khurda: 0674 2490670.

Bhubaneswar station: 06742543360.

Behrampur station: 06802229632


IANS inputs

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.