Hirakhand Express derailment: Unusual activity, tampering with track will be probed, assures Railway PRO

| Updated: Jan 22, 2017 14:51 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan. 22 (ANI): Indian Railways spokesperson Anil Saxena on Sunday said, that any unusual activity or tampering with the railway tracks leading to the derailment of the Hirakhand Express, will be investigated, and also informed that a unit of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been sent on the spot for rescue operation. "Total 54 people have been injured, those with minor injuries have been sent after first aid. Efforts are on for rescue. One unit of National Disaster Response Force has reached the spot. The Up and down line between Vijayanagaram-Singhpur has been affected. The cause will be investigated from all angles. If there was any unusual activity, or tampering with track, it will be probed. Commissioner Railway Safety (Civil Aviation Ministry) will enquire into Hirakhand Express derailment and he will inspect site," Saxena told ANI. Saxena further said their main aim is to make the people reach their destinations, adding that the unaffected portion of the train has been taken to Raigoda, from where it has been diverted to Bhubaneswar. "Water containers, biscuits and teas are being supplied to the people. They can also talk to their families through phones which are made them available," he added. He further informed that the Railway Minister have expressed grief and announced ex gratia payment to the bereaved families. Meanwhile, Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announced rupees two lakh as compensation for the kin of deceased in the horrific Hirakhand express derailment in Andhra Pradesh last night, which claimed the lives of 26 people. He also announced 25,000 rupees for the injured and 50,000 rupees for the seriously injured. Prabhu, along with Railway Board Chairman A K Mittal, is rushing to the derailment site in Andhra. At least 26 people were killed and more than 50 injured when coaches of Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Express derailed near Kuneru station in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh last night. Chief PRO of East Cost Railway JP Mishra said the incident took place around 11 PM when the train was going to Bhubaneswar. He said, four accident relief vans have been sent to the accident site. He said, the reason behind the incident is yet to be ascertained. Meanwhile, Railway Ministry sources have told ANI that the element of sabotage has not been ruled out yet. The number of casualties are likely to go up as the train was running at high speed while crossing Kuneru station where it had no stoppage. The injured have been shifted to hospitals at Parbatipuram and Rayagada. A team of doctors have reached the accident site. Vijayanagaram and Rayagada District Administration are taking active part in rescue operations. Several trains on Vijayanagaram and Rayagada routes have been diverted. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu is personally monitoring situation. He has directed senior officials to reach site and ensure prompt rescue and relief operations. Railway has issued helpline numbers. These are Rayagada 06856-223400, 06856-223500, 09439741181, 09439741071 and 07681878777. Help line nos at Vizianagaram are 08922-221202 and 08922-221206. (ANI)