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Utkal Express tragedy: Railways begin work to clear mangled coaches in UP

At least 23 are feared dead after 14 coaches of the Haridwar-bound train derailed on Saturday

Press Trust of India  |  Muzaffarnagar 

Utkal Express derails
The derailment took place in Khatauli near Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh on Saturday. (Photo: PTI)

Building on overnight search and rescue operation, the railways on Sunday deployed high-tech cranes and scores of workers to clear the tracks even as the sleepy town of Khatauli tried to come to terms with the train tragedy.

Two heavy duty 140-tonne cranes were pressed into service at the crack of the dawn to clear derailed coaches, from which the survivors were rescued and bodies pulled out till late last night.

Thirteen coaches of the high-speed on Saturday jumped the rails, with one of them crashing into a house adjacent to the track near Khatauli in UP leaving over 20 passengers dead.

A group of curious onlookers gathered at the site of the this morning, as two coaches were hauled and put off track on the ground beside it.

Linesmen and other workers brought from nearby places, shovelled away the unwanted stones as new concrete sleepers were laid to reinforce the ill-fated tracks.

"We have come from to work on the clearing of tracks," said a linesman on the job.

Work is currently underway to haul an overturned coach, which had rammed into the facade of a local college, while another sleeper coach which had rammed into a house, shattering its frontage, is still to be restored on the ground.

"The train had 23 coaches out of which 13 had derailed. It was running at a speed of about 100 kilometres per hour (kmph) when the took place," said Delhi Division DRM, R N Singh.

Six of the derailed coaches were damaged severely.

Badly mangled coaches are posing a tough challenge in carrying out the work, going on in full swing after the rescue operation by the got over around 3 am.

A posse of security personnel from the UP Police, the RPF, the PAC, the RRF, has been deployed at the site of the since it occurred last evening.

And, it is not just the authorities having a sleepless night, almost the entire city seems to have lost sleep due to the sheer magnitude of the tragedy, that has befallen this town.

First Published: Sun, August 20 2017. 09:37 IST