Rs 5 lk to victims of Gautami Express: Lalu

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New Delhi, Aug 1: Railway Minister Lalu Prasad has announced Rs five lakh ex-gratia for each of the next of kin of those killed and Rs one lakh to grievously injured, in the fire on Gautami Express going from Secunderabad to Kakinada on Friday, Aug 1 morning, while ordering a statutory inquiry into the incident.

Besides it, the Railway Minister also announced that one of the family member of the victims who died in the accident would be provided a job in the Railways. Thirteen people were killed and six injured when the 2738 Kakinada down Gautami Express caught fire between kesamudram and Tadalapusalapalli stations falling in Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh early this morning.

Addressing newspersons, Mr Lalu Prasad said efforts were being made to ferry passengers to the desired destinations. He said Chief Commissioner Railway (Safety) had already left for the site to initiate the statutory enquiry into the accident.

The Railway Minister said the fire was first noticed in sleeper coach S-10 but soon spread to another four coaches-S-9, S-11, S-12 and S-13. Unaffected coaches were immediately detached from the train and taken to the nearby stations to check spread of fire to other coaches.

Minister of State for Railways Naran Bhai J Rathwa and Railway Board Member (Electrical) Sukhbir Singh had also been rushed to the spot to oversee relief operations which was in full swing.

Meanwhile, the Railways had set up special telephone lines at Secunderabad (09701371062,09247028390), Kakinada (0844-2387220) and Vijaywada (0866-3068941) to provide information to the relatives of the passengers of the train.


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