Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said a team of doctors has been rushed to the southeastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh where Hirakhand Express derailed Saturday night and he is in touch with authorities to ensure speedy delivery of relief to injured and stranded passengers.
Condoling the death of passengers of the ill-fated train which derailed in Kuneru in the state, Naidu said the situation is being monitored closely and he has asked authorities to extend medical and other relief to the injured immediately on war footing.
"Deeply grieved to know about the tragic derailment of Hirakhand Express in Kuneru of Komarada mandal in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh. My prayers and condolences to the bereaved families.
"I am in talks with the concerned authorities to ensure speedy delivery of relief measures to the passengers stranded and wounded. Priority is on promptly shifting the passengers to nearby hospitals and a team of doctors has been rushed to the site. The situation is being monitored closely," he said.
At least 27 passengers were killed and around 100 injured after nine coaches of the Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Express derailed in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh with the railways suspecting foul play in the mishap.
"I spoke to the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Visakhapatnam and enquired about the situation and relief measures. Suggested to extend medical and other relief to the injured immediately on war footing, including making arrangements of food, water and other needs for the stranded passengers," he said.
Railways suspect that tampering of the track near Kuneru station led to the derailment of the train.
"DRM Visakhapatnam informed me that most of the injured belonged to Odisha. Immediately contacted Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik about the relief operations and suggested to send senior officers and shift the injured to nearby Rayagada hospital in Odisha. CM promised all the necessary steps would be taken," the Minister said.
Naidu also spoke to Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan (hails from Odisha), who assured him that he will speak to officials so that all necessary steps for relief can be taken at the earliest.
The Information and Broadcasting Minister also spoke to Visakhapatnam MP, K Hari Bab, and suggested to shift the seriously injured to KGH hospital in Visakhapatnam.--PTI