At least 12 people were killed and 50 others were injured as seven coaches of the Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express derailed near Kuneru station in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh late Saturday night, officials said.
The incident took place around 11.30 p.m. when the train was going from Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh) to Odisha capital Bhubaneswar.
Engine and seven coaches, including two general coaches, two sleeper coaches and two AC coaches, derailed in the accident which occurred near Kuneru station, about 30 km from Rayagada in Odisha.
An official of East Cost Railway said one mobile train reached the accident site. The injured were shifted to hospitals nearby.
The rescue and relief operations were underway. The death toll is likely to go up.
As there was complete darkness at the accident site, it took time for authorities to launch rescue and relief operations.
Ministry of railways said four accident relief vans were rushed from different places. “All rescue and relief apparatus mobilised immediately,” it tweeted.
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu was personally monitoring the situation. He directed senior officials to reach to the site immediately, ensure prompt rescue and relief operations.
Railway officials from nearby stations rushed to the site to monitor rescue operations.
Train number 18448 Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express had departed from Jagdalpur at 3 p.m. on Saturday and was scheduled to reach Bhubaneswar at 8.25 a.m. on Sunday.
The train ran off the track minutes after it entered Andhra Pradsh from Odisha
The train passes through part of north coastal Andhra before re-entering Odisha.
Railways have set up helplines at various stations in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha to provide information about the accident.
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
Khurda: 0674 2490670.
Bhubaneswar station: 06742543360.
Behrampur station: 06802229632