Rayagada, Jan 22: At least 26 people have been killed and over hundred people have been injured as eight coaches of Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Hirakhand express train derailed near Kuneru station in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh late on Saturday night. The deadly accident that took place around 11 PM on Saturday when the train was going to Bhubaneswar. As per tweets by ANI, the 8 coaches of express train derailed near Kuneru station in Andhra Pradesh, which is about 30 km from Rayagada, Odisha.  A total of four accident relief vans have been rushed to the accident spot.

Chief PRO of East Cost Railway J P Mishra was quoted by PTI saying, “Seven coaches and the engine of the 18448 Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Express derailed near Kuneru station. Besides the engine, the luggage van, two general coaches, two sleeper coaches, one AC three tier coach and an AC two tier coach derailed”. “According to doctors at the site, twelve people have died in the incident,” he further added.

The reason behind the derailment is yet to be ascertained. Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu expressed condolences to the families who lost their loved ones. “Anguished to learn about train accident near Vizianagaram. We are monitoring the situation & providing help in all ways possible”, Naidu said. Meanwhile, Anil Saxena, Railways on Hirakhand derailment informed that relief and rescue operations are going on in full swing He also stated that efforts are on to provide medical assistance to victims. In wake of the deadly accident, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the kin of deceased persons, 25000 for injured,50000 for seriously injured.

The Railway Ministry in a series of tweets mentioned that 4 accident relief vans rushed from different places. “Priority is treatment, shifting of injured passengers to nearest hospital. @sureshpprabhu personally monitoring situation,directed senior officials to reach site immediately, ensure prompt rescue and relief ops,” the railway ministry said in a series of tweets. Helpline numbers have also been provided: Rayagada: BSNL LAND LINE NO- 06856-223400, 06856-223500, BSNL MOBILES 09439741181, 09439741071, AIRTEL 07681878777″. Helpline numbers at khurda control: 0674 2490670. Bhubaneswar station: 06742543360. Behrampur station: 06802229632

Earlier on Saturday morning, ten coaches of Ranikhet Express derailed in Jaisalmer region of Rajasthan. The train 15014 Kath Godham-Jaisalmer Express derailed with ten coaches between Thayat Hamira-Jaisalmer at 23.16 hours last night, an official statement said. No casualties or major injuries were reported.

As per reports, a team of senior officials reached the accident spot to investigate the reason of derailment. Medical teams had also been rushed to the spot to treat the injured passengers. The passengers continued their journey through a special train. On November 21 last year, nearly 150 passengers were killed when Indore-Patna Express got derailed near Pukhrayan station on Jhansi-Kanpur rail segment. On December 28, 2016, at 5.20 am, over 60 passengers were injured when 15 coaches of 12987 Sealdah-Ajmer Express were derailed near Rura railway station. The railway station is about 56 km from Kanpur on Wednesday.