In a heart-wrenching incident, fourteen coaches of Puri Haridwar Kalinga Utkal Express were derailed in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh. The accident claimed the lives of at least 23 people and several others were injured. Expressing grief over the incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Extremely pained by the derailment of the Utkal Express in Muzaffarnagar. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased.” The prime minister also assured that the Railways Ministry and Uttar Pradesh Government are doing “everything possible” and providing all assistance required. Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said he was personally monitoring the situation and directed senior officials to take stock of the situation and ensure speedy rescue and relief operations. Prabhu has announced ex gratia of Rs 3.5 Lakh for those who lost their lives and Rs 50 thousand for seriously injured. A sum of Rs 25 thousand will be given to the minor injured. MoS Railways Manoj Sinha has rushed to the derailment site and the rescue operations are on. Here’s how the political leaders have reacted to this unfortunate incident:
1. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said he is shocked by the incident. His official twitter handle posted: “Shocked to know about the unfortunate accident of Utkal Express in Muzaffarnagar. My thoughts with the families who lost their loved ones.”
Shocked to know about the unfortunate accident of Utkal Express in Muzaffarnagar. My thoughts with the families who lost their loved ones
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) August 19, 2017
2. RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav has asked for the resignation of the Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu. “How will people travel, is there any guarantee of safety? Railways Minister should resign,” Lau was quoted as saying by ANI.
3. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said, ” This was an unfortunate incident and we are in constant touch with the Railways Ministry.” “Our two ministers Satish Mahana and Suresh Rana sent to the spot,” he told ANI.
4. President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted: “Sad at train derailment in UP; my thoughts are with deceased & their families. Injured are being rescued & provided relief #PresidentKovind.”
Sad at train derailment in UP; my thoughts are with deceased & their families. Injured are being rescued & provided relief #PresidentKovind
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) August 19, 2017
5. Union oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, “PM is monitoring it, has talked to Railway Minister and UP CM. MLA from Odisha Ravi Naik will visit spot.”
6. Union health minister JP Nadda said, “Extremely saddened to know about tragic accident of the Utkal Express in Muzaffarnagar. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased.”