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15 dead as train derails in Orissa

Jajpur Road (Orissa), February 13
Within hours of Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav boasting over the “improved” safety record of the network in the Railway Budget today, 18 coaches of Coromandel Express derailed near Jajpur Road station, about 100 km from Orissa’s capital Bhubaneswar. At least 15 persons were killed while over 60 sustained injuries.

According to information, the train was heading to Chennai from Howrah when the mishap occurred at around 8 pm. The driver and assistant driver of the train also sustained serious injuries in the incident.

One of the passengers who escaped unhurt said the impact of the derailment was severe as the train was running at a very high speed.

Rescue teams were engaged in the operations on a war footing. Though rescue operations were initially affected due to the darkness, floodlights were rigged up. Orissa disaster rapid action force teams, too, joined the rescue operation with high-tech equipment.

East Coast Railway general manager AK Goyal along with senior railway officials rushed to the site, while Railway Board chairman SS Khurana was likely to visit the spot.

And as directed by Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Finance Minister Prafulla Ghadai and Women and Child Development Minister Pramila Mallick, both of whom belong to Jajpur district, also rushed to the site.

Meanwhile, the Railway Minister has said a probe would be ordered into the accident. He also announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh and a job for the kin of the deceased, Rs 50,000 for seriously injured and Rs 10,000 for those with minor injuries. — PTI

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