Mahakaushal Express accident: At least 52 injured after six coaches derail, railways order probe

At least 52 passengers were injured after six bogies of the Jabalpur-Nizamuddin Mahakaushal Express derailed early on Thursday in neighbouring Mahoba district in Banda of Uttar Pradesh.

Representation image. PTI

Representation image. PTI

The incident took place between Mahoba and Kulpahad railway stations near Supa village when the last six bogies derailed, SP (Mahoba) Gaurav Singh said. Ten of the seriously injured have been admitted to a private hospital in Mahoba, he said. Three AC and three general bogies derailed.

Following the accident, general manager of North Central Railways and other senior railway officials rushed to the spot. Railways have ordered an inquiry into the derailment which left 400 metres of track damaged. The mishap disrupted rail traffic on the route with services of 14 trains disurpted, railway officials said.

In Lucknow, ADG (Law and Order) Daljit Chaudhary said the incident took place around 2.20 am when eight bogies of the train derailed injuring some 52 people of which two suffered "serious fractures" and have been referred to a Jhansi hospital. Some have been discharged after first aid while others have been admitted to local hospitals, the ADG said, adding that ambulances and teams of doctors reached the spot and monitored the relief and rescue operations.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Yogi rushed Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh to the accident site to oversee rescue and relief operations, an official told IANS in Lucknow.

The health minister said he was personally monitoring the rescue and relief efforts. Thirty doctors and 21 ambulances have been rushed to the accident site, the minister said. Singh announced a monetary assistance of Rs 50,000 each to the seriously injured and Rs 25,000 to those who suffered minor injuries, the SP said. Railway Board member (Traffic) Mohd Jamshed said in Delhi that an inquiry into the derailment will be conducted by a senior railway official.

Asked whether it was an act of sabotage or any defect in the rolling stock led to the mishap, he said, "Nothing can be ruled out till the report is submitted." On some recent cases involving security around rail tracks in different parts of the state, the ADG said adding investigations proved there was no terror link but all cases are being thoroughly probed with the help of experts. All coaches that derailed on Thursday were conventional ones and manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai.

Though a few coaches tumbled, they did not climb over each other as it happens in such cases, resulting in minimum damage.  Speaking on the sidelines of a function, Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha said that "according to the Divisional Railway Manager, prima facie fresh weld failure on left side caused the derailment."
Fresh weld means it was not an old crack and that the crack developed suddenly and could not be detected. While the UP ADG (Law and Order) Daljit Chaudhary said 52 passengers were injured in the mishap, Sinha said 21 were injured, including one seriously.

The SP said relief and rescue operations were on and two helpline numbers have been activated for the help of passengers and their families. The numbers are 05101072 and 051921072. At least 17 helplines have been made operational at different stations en route to assist relatives of passengers travelling in the train.

The train with the remaining coaches and passengers left from the accident site at 6.45 am, he said. The derailment has affected services of 14 trains, out of which seven were diverted and an equal number of trains cancelled. A few trains between Allahabad and Jhansi were diverted after the accident. Railways have pressed 15 buses into service for carrying about 200 passengers, who were travelling in affected coaches, to Jhansi.

Besides, railways have made catering arrangement for the passengers on the site.  Jamshed said the line is expected to be restored by midnight as the damaged section of the track has to be replaced.

Earlier, the chief public relations officer, North Central Railway said that around eight coaches from the rear side of the train derailed.

Senior administrative and railway officials have reached the spot. Investigations are on to ascertain the cause of the accident.

In 2017, 41 passengers died and over 60 were injured after nine coaches of the Hirakhand Express derailed in Andhra Pradesh's Vizianagaram district.

In November 2016, at least 150 people died and over 300 were injured after 14 coaches of the Patna-Indore Express derailed near Kanpur on 20 November.

With inputs from agencies

 


Published Date: Mar 30, 2017 07:54 am | Updated Date: Mar 30, 2017 02:55 pm


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