BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today announced Rs five lakh ex-gratia relief to the next of the kin of Odia passengers killed in the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express derailment in Uttar Pradesh.
Patnaik, while expressing concern over the incident, also announced Rs 50,000 for each injured person, a statement from the chief minister's office said.
Fourteen coaches of the Utkal Express, which had left Puri on the night of August 17 for Haridwar, derailed at Khatauli in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh this evening, causing deaths and injuries.
Altogether 86 passengers -- 80 in sleeper class and six in AC coach -- had boarded the train at Puri station.
Railway officials in New Delhi said the Uttar Pradesh government has informed the ministry of 12 deaths in the derailment.
Patnaik, who is presently in Delhi, spoke to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and sought his assistance for rescue of the passengers and the union minister assured him of all assistance to the affected passengers, the statement said.
Patnaik also directed the chief secretary to remain in touch with the railway authorities. He also asked the state's commerce and transport department to work in coordination with the railways and Uttar Pradesh government to provide help to the injured persons and kin of the deceased passengers.
Meanwhile, relatives of the affected passengers gathered at Bhubaneswar and Cuttack railway stations to enquire about the fate of their kin.
The East Coast Railway has opened a helpline number 1072 -- to provide information on the accident.