GORAKHPUR: At least 12 persons were killed and 45 injured when a speeding passenger train allegedly jumped signal and collided with another train which was taking a turn on a loop line near here last night.
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The Maduadeeh-Lucknow Krishak Express hit Barauni bound express train from Lucknow from the side while it was on the loop line at Nandanagar railway crossing, about seven kilometers from here, at around 11 PM, Chief Public Relation Officer of North- Eastern Railway Alok Kumar Singh told PTI today.
Three coaches of Barauni Express were badly damaged in the collision.
12 passengers have died in the accident, Singh said adding the Loco pilot of Krishak Express Ram Bahadur and assistant Loco pilot Satyajeet have been suspended for allegedly overshooting the signal.
"Prima facie it appears the Krishak Express was supposed to stop, but it overshot the signal," he said. The train was going towards Lucknow while Barauni express was coming from the state capital.
45 passengers were injured in the accident and condition of 12 was stated to be serious, the official said.
"An inquiry has been ordered by the railway under Commissioner Rail Safety P K Bajpai to ascertain the cause of the incident," another spokesman Anil Saxena said.
The CPRO said that Rapid Action Force, Gorkha Regiment and railway police have reached the spot and started the rescue work.
The injured have been admitted at different hospitals in Gorakhpur.
The railway has also set up helpline for inquiries for various cities -- Gorakhpur (05513303365, 09794846980), Lucknow (05222233042), Chhapra (09006693233) and Benares (09919041978), the spokesperson said.
Movement of trains on Gorakhpur-Varanasi track was disrupted following the incident and few trains have been diverted.
Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda has expressed "profound grief" over the loss of lives and announced compensation for the victims.
An enhanced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh will be given to the families of the deceased, Rs one lakh for grievously injured and Rs 20,000 for those sustaining simple injuries, a railway official said.