Gorakhdham Mishap: Railway Min Convenes Meeting

Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda today convened a high-level meeting on rail safety as the death toll in the Gorakhdham train mishap touched 28.

"I feel very sad. I am taking a meeting on safety with senior railway officials today. My first priorities are safety and security of passengers.

"I have also discussed with the Prime Minister to finalise a roadmap for railways as he has noble ideas about the sector," the Railway Minister.

While Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad said here, "On the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister Kalraj Mishra and Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha visited the accident site and the hospitals, where at least 31 people are being treated."

The two ministers reported back to the Prime Minister at the first meeting of the Union Cabinet here.

The Cabinet mourned the death of 28 persons in the accident in which the Delhi-Gorakhpur Gorakdham Express derailed and rammed into a stationary freight train near Churaib Railway Station in Uttar Pradesh yesterday.

During his visit to the site today, Mishra said, "Prima facie, it appeared that the incident took place due to fractured rails."

Prasad said 14 of those injured were in serious condition and 57 others had received simple injuries and were being treated in three hospitals nearby.

He said the Centre has announced a compensation of Rs two lakh each to the next of kin of those killed, Rs one lakh each to those grievously injured and Rs 20,000 each to those who sustained simple injuries.

Asked whether a safety fund will be created, the railway minister said, "The funds are still not utilised fully. I will have to see what can be done."

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of those killed and Rs 50 thousand for the injured.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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