In the worst rail accident in recent years, over 100 passengers were killed and more than 200 injured, nearly half of them grievously, when 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express derailed near here in Kanpur rural district early today due to suspected rail fracture.
    

The disaster took place just a little after 0300 hrs when the passengers were deep asleep and jolted as the train jumped off the tracks.
    

Four ordinary sleeper coaches of the train - S1, S2, S3, S4- were badly damaged in the mishap. The S1 and S2 coaches had telescoped into each other and most of the casualties were feared to have been in these two compartments.
    

An AC III tier coach was also damaged but casualties in it were not heavy. Survivors, who were jolted out of their sleep, were lucky to find themselves among mangled remains of the bogies when they were rescued.
    

The number of casualties kept on increasing by the hour and by afternoon 103 bodies were recovered, Commissioner (Kanpur Zone) Iftikharuddin said.
    

76 passengers were seriously injured in the derailment, IG (Kanpur range) Zaki Ahmad said.150 other passengers received minor injuries in the mishap.
    

"Over 150 injured people have been rushed to nearby hospitals in the area. All hospitals have been asked to be alert. More than 30 ambulances have been pressed into service," he said.
    

Officials said that prima facie the cause of the accident could be due to track fracture. Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha told reporters at the spot that it seems the cause of the accident is rail fracture.
    

Member (Engineering) will find out the cause of the mishap and action will be taken against those responsible, he said.
    

With several passengers feared trapped, rescue personnel employed cold cutters to break open the compartments as gas cutters produced excessive heat and suffocation hampering their efforts.     

A number of trapped passengers were rescued.
    

Teams of army doctors, railway officials and personnel of NDRF, state PAC and other policemen were involved in carrying out rescue and relief operation.
    

President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and a host of other leaders condoled the loss of lives in the train tragedy. 


While Yadav announced compensation of ₹5 lakh for the kin of the dead in the accident, Modi sanctioned Rs 2 lakh. On his part, the Railway Minister enhanced the ex-gratia grant from ₹2 lakh to ₹3.5 lakh to the families of the dead.
    

The UP government will give ₹50,000 to those seriously injured and ₹25,000 for those with simple injuries.
    

The Chief Minister has instructed the DGP to personally monitor the relief operations and deploy traffic police along the route of the mishap site to ensure green corridor for ambulances to reach hospitals quickly.
    

More ambulances/roadways buses have been rushed to the spot for speedy relief operations, the CM said.
    

DG Health & ADG (Law and Order) has also been rushed to the accident spot to monitor the relief operations.
    

Buses have been pressed into service to help passengers complete their journey, Kumar said.
    

Railways have made available the following helpline numbers -- Indore-07411072, Ujjain- 07342560906, Ratlam- 074121072, Orai-051621072, Jhansi- 05101072, Pokhraya- 05113270239.
    

North Central Railway General Manager Arun Srivastava said traffic on Kanpur-Jhansi section will be opened in 36 hours.
    

NDRF Director General R K Pachnanda told PTI that a total of five teams of the special rescue force, comprising 45 personnel each, have been pressed into action at the accident site.
    

"The rescue teams are deploying cutters and hydraulic equipment to ensure that all the trapped passengers are evacuated safely from the rail bogies," the DG, who has reached the accident site, said.
    

"As the victims are trapped inside the bogies, due care and diligence is being taken into consideration.
    

NDRF responders are making all possible efforts to rescue the trapped victims with the help of multi-types of latest disaster management gadgets and tools.
    

So far, NDRF has rescued 53 passengers including 16 badly trapped from the bogies. Among them were two children.
    

Some additional teams are also put on stand by and shall be mobilised as per demand," the Force said in a statement.