Trains on Meerut line cancelled due to Utkal Express mishap; rescue operation ends

Srinagar: With an injured succumbing to injuries at a Meerut hospital, the total number of deaths now confirmed is 21 in the ghastly accident of the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express at Khatuali in Muzaffarnagar on Saturday evening.

The number of injured have, however, shot up overnight to 156. Most of them are admitted to the Meerut Medical College and other private hospitals in Meerut.

Muzaffarnagar District Magistrate G S Priydarshi, who has been at the accident site, said the total number of coaches that got derailed was 12, including one pantry car and 11 passenger coaches.

Of the 20 dead, the bodies of 11 have been identified, said a spokesperson of the Uttar Pradesh government.

Most of the injured have been shifted to Meerut.

“The number of dead may go up as reports say that several of them are critical,” said Principal Secretary Information Avanish Awasthi.

Four NDRF teams of skilled personnel equipped with sophisticated gas cutters, airlifting bags and other rescues material have, meanwhile, completed the work of rescue.

In a tweet, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said: “Rescue operations completed. Have directed railway doctors to visit the injured in hospitals and ensure best possible medical help.”