Lucknow: Two people were killed and over 100 others injured when eight coaches of the Ranchi-Jammu Tawi Muri Express derailed in Uttar Pradesh's Kaushambi district on Monday, officials said. Over a dozen trains were diverted, cancelled or terminated midway following the derailment.
The accident occurred between Sirathu and Athsarai railway stations in the Allahabad-Kanpur sector of the rail zone, 173 km from state capital Lucknow.
Officials said the toll may go up.
Three general sleeper coaches -- S5, S6, S7 -- and three air-conditioned coaches -- three-tier B1 and B2 and two-tier A1 -- along with the pantry car derailed while one coach capsized and fell in a ditch nearby, a district official told IANS.
Local villagers rushed to the rescue even before officials of the district administration could reach the spot.
The state government has announced a compensation of Rs.2 lakh to the families of each of those who died.
The office of the chief secretary said health department officials have been asked to ensure prompt relief and rescue operations.
Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan was personally monitoring the situation, said a home department official.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who is in France on a four-day visit, has been apprised of the accident.
The North Central Railway has set up a helpline - 1072 - where people after prefixing the local STD code can enquire about passengers travelling on the train.
A relief train along with a crane and cutters was also rushed to the spot while railway officials reached the place to look into the situation, said railway spokesperson Anil Saxena.
Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Daljeet Chowdhary said senior police officials have been sent to the accident site.
According to sources, 40 'keys' of the rail track had gone missing from the same spot on Sunday and police were apprised about the discovery by villagers, said sources.
A senior official confirmed this and said all aspects, including sabotage, were being probed.
Traffic on the Allahabad-Kanpur railway sector came to a halt following the derailment.
Many trains were diverted to other routes, while three trains, including the Gorakhpur-Kanpur Anwarganj Chauri Chaura Express, were terminated midway.