Hirakhand Express derailment: Venkaiah Naidu for strengthening railway tracks

| Updated: Jan 22, 2017 18:50 IST

Panaji, (Goa), [India], Jan. 22 (ANI): Expressing shock over the derailment of Hirakhand Express which claimed the lives of 36 passengers, Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday called for strengthening railway tracks across the country. "I was shocked to know about the derailment. To avoid such incidents in future, the railway tracks across the country need to be strengthened," Naidu said. He said that he inquired about the untoward incident during his telephonic conversation with Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Vishakhapatnam, Chandralekha Mukherjee. "They are being provided with first aids and some of them are being shifted to Odisha because most of the injured people are from Odisha and there they will get proper treatment," Naidu said. "I particular told Mukherjee that special care is to be taken of the stranded passengers. She told me by evening they will be able to remove all these damage and traffic will be resumed accordingly," he added. The Union Minister further said that he has requested Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to send additional forces to shift the injured to the Rayagada district hospital. "I also spoke to Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who said that he is getting in touch with other officers and further support is needed to shift the people," Naidu said. At least 36 people have lost their lives so far and over 100 others injured after nine coaches of Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Express derailed in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh, The incident took place at around 11 p.m. yesterday near Kuneru station when most of the passengers were sleeping. The station is 25 kilometre away from Rayagada station in Odisha. The Ministry of Railways has announced an ex-gratia of Rs. two lakh each for next of kin of those killed in the train accident. It has also announced Rs. 50,000 those seriously injured and Rs. 25,000 for minor injuries. The Indian Railway has issued the following helpline numbers - Rayagada: 06856-223400, 06856-223500, 09439741181, 09439741071 and 07681878777. The helpline numbers at Vizianagaram are 08922-221202 and 08922-221206. (ANI)