The death toll in the Sunday’s train accident near Malwan station on the Howrah-Delhi Grand Chord in Fatehpur district went up to 68 with 30 more bodies, including that of a Swedish national, being recovered from the mangled compartments of the ill-fated Delhi-bound Kalka Mail.
“68 bodies have been recovered so far. 259 people are undergoing treatment at a hospital here,” Fatehpur Superintendent of Police Ram Bharose said. The deceased include 14 women.
Sandeep Mathur, Chief Public Relations Officer of North Central Railway, said in Allahabad that two Swedish nationals were among the dead.
While one Swedish national has been identified as Wick from the statement of his injured compatriot Oscar, who was also travelling with him, the identity of the other is yet to be ascertained.
The derailment took place at 12.20 PM yesterday when the train from Howrah reached near Malwa station, nearly 120 kms from Lucknow. The train was moving at a speed of 108 km/hour.
Rescue operations continued throughout the night to extricate the trapped passengers and bodies from the damaged AC and other compartments.
“By tomorrow morning, the Howrah-Delhi route should be cleared off,” Railway Board Chairman Vinay Mittal said, adding that an inquiry by the Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety (Lucknow) Prashant Kumar has been ordered.
No fault in the track
Mr. Mittal said there was no fault in the track and the cabinmen had told him that when the train was close to pole number 927/23, its engine started shaking and emitting smoke, soon after which the mishap took place.
Out of the 53 bodies, 21 have been identified, Mr. Bharose said.
According to preliminary investigations, the signals were functioning normally and the fish plates on the tracks were intact, Mr. Mittal said.
While some of the bogies had toppled, others were turned into a mangled heap of metal. Gas cutters and other equipment were used to slice through the metal in the AC and other coaches to rescue the trapped passengers.
On July 7, the Mathura—Chhapra Express had rammed into a bus carrying a marriage party at the Adhurpur unmanned railway crossing Kanshiram Nagar, about 250 km from Lucknow, leaving 38 bus passengers dead.