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Farakka Express derailment: Railway suspends 2 officials

Senior Section Engineer Vinod Kumar Sharma and Electrical Signal Maintainer Amarnath have been suspended with immediate effect.

SNS | New Delhi |

The Railways suspended two officials on Thursday, a day after seven persons were killed when nine coaches and the engine of a New Farakka Express (14003) train heading to Delhi from West Bengal derailed near Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh.

”They were suspended on the recommendation of the Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety after it was indicated that the cause of the accident was prima facie wrong signalling and to ensure that no evidence was tampered with”,the Railway Ministry officials said .

“Senior Section Engineer Vinod Kumar Sharma and Electrical Signal Maintainer Amarnath have been suspended with immediate effect, “Northern Railway spokesperson Deepak Kumar said.

Earlier,  at least seven people died on Wednesday after five coaches and the engine of  the New Farakka Express (14003) heading to New Delhi from Malda town in West Bengal derailed near Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh, a railway official said.

According to the media reports, over 30 people have been inured and rushed to nearby hospitals. The accident took place near Harchandpur in Rae Bareli district at around 6.05 am.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announced an ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the family of those killed. Goyal announced Rs one lakh each to those who sustained grievous injuries and Rs 50,000 each in case of simple injury.

The exact cause of the accident is not officially known, an inquiry has been instituted by the railways ministry. Goel has ordered that the inquiry will be conducted by the commissioner, railway safety, northern circle.  According to  the UP ADG ( Law and Order ) Anand Kumar  drones and long range cameras are being used to monitor the relief and rescue measures at the mishap site.

A team of doctors in an Accident Relief Medical Van has been rushed to the site in Lucknow and emergency helpline numbers have been set up at the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya junction, Mughalsarai, officials said.

All up and down lines on the route have been blocked and officials suspect that the number of casualties may rise.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath took the note of the incident and directed the district magistrate, superintendent of police, health authorities and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to provide all possible assistance to relief and rescue operations, an official spokesperson said.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of those killed. The Uttar Pradesh government would also give Rs 50,000 each to all those injured.

The chief minister expressed his condolences for the deceased and directed to the director general of police to take all necessary action, he added.

(With agency inputs)