Vizianagaram (Andhra Pradesh), Jan 22:
At least 39 people were killed and over 50 others injured when the Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express derailed in Andhra Pradesh’s Vizianagaram district, police said.
The incident occurred on Saturday night at 11.30 p.m., near Kuneru station. The train was enroute to Odisha’s capital city Bhubaneswar from Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh.
According to Chief Public Relations Officer of East Coast Railway J.P. Mishra, seven coaches — luggage van, two general coaches, two sleeper coaches, one AC three tier coach, one AC two tier coach — and the engine derailed.
“Four accident relief vans have been sent to the accident site. The reason behind the incident is yet to be ascertained,” Mishra said.
Army personnel has also been deployed to carry out rescue operations.
According to the Railways Ministry, 13 unaffected coaches left the accident site carrying passengers via Sambalpur and Angul. Bus services were also arranged for the passengers.
Officials said 22 injured were shifted to Parvathipuram government hospital. Seven patients were referred to Kin George Hospital of Visakhapatnam while seven were discharged after first aid.
A total of 32 injured were brought to Rayagada district hospital.
As there was complete darkness at the accident site, it took time for authorities to launch rescue and relief operations.
“All rescue and relief apparatus mobilised immediately,” the ministry said.
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu was personally monitoring the situation.
The train had departed from Jagdalpur at 3 p.m. on Saturday and was scheduled to reach Bhubaneswar at 8.25 a.m. on Sunday.
It off the track minutes after it entered Andhra Pradesh from Odisha
Railways have set up helplines at various stations in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
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
Bhubaneswar station: 06742543360.
Behrampur station: 06802229632.
(With IANS inputs)