New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Monday expressed grief over the loss of lives in Gorakhdham Express accident and hoped that the Indian Railways was taking all possible steps to help the affected passengers and their families.
"Sonia Gandhi has expressed shock and grief over the unfortunate accident of Gorakhdham Express near Khalilabad in Uttar Pradesh today. Anguished at death of passengers, Gandhi extended condolences to the family of the dead and wished a speedy recovery to those injured," the Congress party said in a release. Gandhi also expressed hope that the Indian Railways was taking all steps for relief and safety of the victims and stranded passengers, the party said.
"Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has expressed deep anguish over the unfortunate accident of Gorakhdam Express, near Khalilabad in UP. He offered his condolences to the bereaved families at the loss of their loved ones," a party statement said.
At least 20 passengers were on Monday feared killed as the Gorakhdham Express rammed into a stationary freight train in the district. The incident took place on Monday morning when the express train came on the same track as the freight train near Chureb Railway Station. Officials in the Railway Board said the mishap occurred due to derailment of the express train. They said six coaches of the train then rammed into a stationary goods train standing on the adjoining track at the station. Out of the six coaches, four were general coaches and two were AC coaches.
The Indian Railways has ordered an inquiry into the mishap by Commissioner Railway Safety (Northeast circle) PK Bajpayee. They have also ordered a compensation of Rs one lakh to the family of those killed and Rs 50,000 for those seriously injured. A sum of Rs 10,000 will be given to those who sustained minor injuries.
Rail traffic between Delhi and Gorakhpur has been affected and a number of trains have been diverted through other routes, railway officials said.