Hirakhand Express horror: PM Modi offers condolences, says saddened by tragedy

| Updated: Jan 22, 2017 15:28 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan. 22 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday extended his condolences to the kin of the deceased in the deadly derailment of the Hirakhand Express, and assured that the Railway Ministry is closely monitoring the situation. "My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones due to the derailment of Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Express. The tragedy is saddening. I pray for a speedy recovery of all those injured due to the train accident. The Railway Ministry is monitoring the situation very closely and is working to ensure quick rescue and relief operations," the Prime Minister's Office said in a series of tweets. Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also tweeted saying that the NDRF teams have already reached the spot to carry out rescue and relief operations. One NDRF team from Visakhapatnam is present at the derailment site in Andhra and four teams from Bhubaneswar are en route for rescue operations. 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)