In his message, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's office said: "The Prime Minister has expressed deep sorrow and shock at the loss of lives of pilgrims caused by the accident at Katyani Sthan, in Khagaria District, Bihar."
"The Prime Minister has directed the Ministry of Railways to deploy all available resources in the area for rescue and relief operations. He has also appealed for calm in the area so that the relief and rescue operations can be carried out without any hindrance," it said.
M Hamid Ansari has also expressed deep sorrow on the tragic loss of lives in the train accident.
"The Vice President has conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and has wishes the injured a speedy recovery," the government said in a statement.
Over 40 others were injured in the incident.
Many Kanwarias (devotees of Lord Shiva) were standing on the railway tracks when at the speeding Saharsa-Patna Rajya Rani Express crushed to death at least 37 of them.
After the accident, the train was stopped and driver was beaten up by angry locals.
They also set some coaches on fire.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced compensation and assured a probe into the incident.
"The state government will give Rs 1.5 lakh to the families of each victim along with Rs 50,000 from the Chief Minister's fund," said Kumar.
"The Railways will conduct an inquiry into the incident. Please maintain peace. The state government will provide all assistance to victims," he said.
The victims were returning after offering morning prayers at the Katyayani temple near popular Hindu pilgrimage site Dhamara Ghat.
--IBNS (Posted on 19-08-2013)