Utkal Express derailment injures over 200, death toll reaches 22

Thirteen coaches of the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express ran off tracks late in the evening on Saturday, 19th August 2017, near Khatauli, about 100 km from New Delhi. More than 22 people have lost their lives and over 200 people have been injured in this terrifying accident.

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Caused due to negligence, about 8 officials have been suspended over the accident. While a Senior Divisional Engineer, Assistant Engineer, Senior Section Engineer and a Junior Engineer have been suspended, member (Engineering) in the Railway Board, Northern Railway General Manager and Divisional Regional Manager (Delhi) have been sent on leave. Sources in the Railways engineering division claimed that they had warned the Khatauli station authorities of repair work being carried out on the tracks. They also assert that they requested for movement of trains to not be allowed on the stretch for 20 minutes till the tracks were effectively restored.

Rescuers from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the police worked with gas cutters and cranes to find survivors from the damaged coaches. Rescue operations ended in the early hours on Sunday. Railways has announced a compensation of INR 3.5 lakh for the family of those deceased, INR 50,000 for those seriously injured and INR 25,000 for people with minor injuries. State governments of Odisha and Uttar Pradesh have also announced compensation for the victims.

Muzaffarnagar authorities have set up a control room to assist families of those affected. The numbers are: 0131-2436918, 0131-2436103 and 0131-2436564.