FATEHPUR (UP): The death toll in Sunday’s derailment of Delhi-bound Kalka Mail here rose to 68 on Monday with rescuers pulling out 30 more bodies, including that of two Swedish nationals, from the mangled compartments of the ill-fated train.
At least 259 people were injured in the incident and they have been admitted to various hospitals in this district in Uttar Pradesh and in Kanpur even as rescuers pulled out more people from the train.
“68 bodies have been recovered so far. 259 people are undergoing treatment at a hospital here,” the Fatehpur superintendent of police, Mr Ram Bharose said. The deceased include 14 women.
Mr Sandeep Mathur, the 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 p.m. on Sunday when the packed train from Howrah reached near Malwa station, nearly 120 km from Lucknow. The train was moving at a speed of 108 km/hour.
Rescue operations continued through the night to extricate the trapped passengers and bodies from the badly damaged AC and other compartments.
A special train that left Kanpur carrying 167 passengers of the ill-fated train reached New Delhi on Monday morning.
Over 24 hours after the incident, Railway authorities are yet to ascertain the exact cause of the worst-ever accident this year.
At the accident site, the Railway Board Chairman, Mr Vinay Mittal said by Tuesday morning, the Howrah-Delhi route should be cleared off.
He said an inquiry by the chief commissioner of railway safety (Lucknow), Mr Prashant Kumar has been ordered into the incident.
Mr Mittal said there was no fault in the track and the cabin man had told him that when the train was close to pole number 927/23, its engine started shaking and emitting smoke, after which the mishap took place.
Railway officials said that the work of clearing the tracks at Malwa, the accident site, was in full swing.
Out of the 63 bodies, only 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.