Andhra train accident: Toll rises to 13, site cleared
Officials said those killed include the loco and assistant loco pilot of one of the trains (Visakhapatnam-Rayagada passenger train) involved in the crash
The toll from the train accident at Kantakapalli in Andhra Pradesh’s Vizianagaram rose to 13 on Monday even as four of the over 50 people injured in the crash were said to be critical, officials said.
Officials said those killed include the loco and assistant loco pilot of one of the trains (Visakhapatnam-Rayagada passenger train) involved in the crash. They added it “appears to be a classic case of human error” as the pilots of the Rayagada-bound train did not halt even when the signal was red.
Officials said railway minister Ashwani Vaishnaw and Railway Board chairman Jaya Varma Sinha were monitoring the situation from a war room. In a post on the social media platform X, Vaishnaw said other than the derailed and affected coaches, others have been cleared from the site.
Vaishnaw on Sunday announced an ex-gratia of ₹10 lakh for the families of those killed, ₹2.5 lakh each for grievously injured, and ₹50,000 for those who sustained minor injuries.
The Rayagada-bound train rammed into Vishakhapatnam-Palasa train waiting on the track between Alamanda and Kantakpalli railway stations. Four bogies of the second train derailed onto the adjacent track from the impact of the collision.
Rescue operations were hampered as the crash knocked out electrical lines and plunged the area into darkness before rescuers rushed to the scene.
At least 13 trains were cancelled, diverted, or terminated as the tracks were blocked.
The crash came months after faulty connections in the automated signalling system led to India’s worst rail disaster in two decades on June 2 and left 288 people dead and over 1,000 injured in Odisha’s Bahanaga Bazar. A passenger train hit a stationary freight train before jumping off the tracks and hitting another passenger train in the opposite direction.
Four passengers were killed and 80 injured after coaches of the Delhi-Kamakhya Northeast Express derailed near the Raghunathpur station in Bihar’s Buxar district this month.
Vizianagaram district collector S Nagalakshmi said 10 of the 13 passengers killed have been identified so far. He added all those killed and injured were from Andhra Pradesh. “As many as 32 of the injured are undergoing treatment at Vizianagaram government hospital and some seriously injured were shifted to corporate hospitals in Visakhapatnam. The condition of four of them is said to be serious.”
Chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, who announced an ex gratia of ₹10 lakh to each of the kin of those killed and ₹2 lakh to the injured, will visit the accident site on Monday.
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