Jajpur Nov 21 (PTI): A goods train derailed at Korai railway station in Odisha’s Jajpur district on Monday morning, with wagons ploughing into waiting passengers, killing at least three of them, all women, and injuring seven others, including a two-and-half-year-old child, officials said.
East coast railway (ECoR) officials said that the accident took place at 6.44 am when some people were waiting at the platform and the waiting hall for a passenger train.
Station staffers said that the loco pilot of the empty goods train moving from Dongoaposi to Chhatrapur applied sudden brakes, causing eight wagons to derail and plough into the passengers on the platform and the waiting hall.
Jajpur additional district magistrate Akshay Kumar Mallick said that some derailed wagons climbed the foot-over-bridge and fell on the waiting hall and ticket counter.
All the wagons were later removed from the tracks and nobody is likely to be trapped underneath the debris, a senior police officer said.
Of the seven injured, the condition of one is serious but stable while six others were discharged after being administered first aid.
Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) Shibashis Maharana said three women have died in the incident, including a mother-daughter duo.
The deceased have been identified as Parbati Bindhani, her daughter Kandhei and Absum Bibi. A two-and-half-year-old child, who was with the Bindhanis, miraculously survived the accident.
Kandhu Bindhani, who was not present at the spot, said his mother and sister were waiting for a local train to Cuttack, where they were going for treatment.
Kandhei’s husband said he was with the mother-son duo and had gone outside the railway station when the accident took place.
Families of the deceased have demanded Rs 50 lakh as compensation or a permanent job in the Railways for a member.
In videos that have gone viral on social media, derailed wagons were seen strewn across both platforms with axles lying on the railway tracks.
Some wagons were seen damaging one entrance of the foot-over-bridge, while others tearing apart overhead power wires and demolishing buildings of the railway station.
Locals were seen giving a hand to rescue teams in clearing the debris and looking for bodies and injured persons beneath it.
Train services were affected on the Howrah-Chennai route as both lines were blocked due to the accident.
Railway officials said that it will take at least 12 hours to resume the train services. All the eight derailed wagons have been removed from the tracks.
Food and water was provided to passengers stranded at the railway station. Some were transported to national highways, from where they could go to their destinations.
Apart from Railways, Odisha disaster rapid action force (ODRAF), fire services and locals are engaged in the rescue operations, an official said.
Meanwhile, railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has announced Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia for the next of kin of the deceased, Rs 1 lakh for the seriously injured and Rs 25,000 for those sustaining minor injuries.
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of lives in the Korai train accident. Announcing a financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh to the family members of the deceased, Rs 1 lakh to the seriously injured and Rs 25,000 to those sustaining minor injuries,” he tweeted in Odia.
CM Naveen Patnaik expressed deep condolences and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the next of kin of the deceased and free treatment for the injured.
Patnaik asked Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Ramilla Mallick to visit the spot and take stock of the situation.
ECoR has cancelled eight trains, short-terminated five and diverted 12 others, chief public relations officer Biswajit Sahu said.
An accident relief train and a medical team have been sent to the spot, he added.
Hundreds of passengers were stranded in various railway stations including Bhubaneswar and Puri. Some of them had already checked-out of their hotels and were waiting to board their trains.
ECoR has issued emergency helpline numbers 8455889905 (Korai station), 0674-2534027 (Bhubaneswar) and 0674-2492245 (Khurda Road). ECoR general manager Roop Narayan Sunkar and other senior officials have rushed to the spot to monitor relief work.
Eight trains were cancelled, including 12073 Howrah-Bhubaneswar Janshatabdi express, 12277 Howrah-Puri Shatabdi express, 12821 Shalimar-Puri express, and 18045 Shalimar-Hyderabad express.
Similarly, five trains were short-terminated, including 12074 Bhubaneswar-Howrah Janshatabdi express and 12278 Puri-Howrah Shatabdi express which will run till Jajpur.
Twenty trains were diverted through different routes, including 18046 Hyderabad-Shalimar east coast express, 22852 Bangalore-Santragachi express, 22641 Trivendrum-Shalimar express and 12864 Bangalore-Howrah express.