The Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express was derailed in Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district on
Saturday, killing 21 and injuring over 150 people and is beinng termed as one of the worst train
accidents this year. 14 coaches of the Puri-Haridwar Kalinga Utkal Express were derailed at Khatauli,
25 km from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, on Saturday evening, officials said. The accident took
place at 5.46 pm, as the train was crossing the Khatauli station yard at a speed of 105 kmph.
As per the preliminary investigations reports, it is being suspected that the event might have
occured due to human error. Two coaches crashed into a residential area, ramming a house and a
college. Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has ordered an inquiry into the incident, saying he has
asked authorities “to fix responsibility on prima facie evidence by end of day”. Prabhu also
announced a compensation of Rs 3.5 lakh each to the families of those killed, Rs 50,000 to those
seriously injured, and Rs 25,000 to those with minor injuries.
According to the local residents of the nearby areas, Jagat Ram, parts of the rail track in the area
were being repaired for the last two days. It might be that the driver of the Utkal Express was not
informed about the repair work due to which the train was not slowed down causing the accident.