India's Train Mishaps In Last 10 Years

Sheikh Saaliq
28 Aug, 2017

India’s death toll from train derailments in 2016-17 is now the highest in a decade.

193 People died in these accidents despite a sharp dip in trains mishaps- fewest in 10 years (104) ending March 2017; 78 of these accidents were derailments.

On 23 August, 2017, a train derailment brought in more flak for the Railways. At least 70 people were injured when nine coaches of the Delhi-bound Kaifiyat Express derailed in Auraiya, Uttar Pradesh. The train, travelling from Azamgarh to Delhi, collided with a dumper around 3am between Pata and Achalda railway stations, a North Central Railway spokesperson said.

Earlier this month, Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express, derailed near Muzaffarnagar on 18th August killing 23 passengers and injuring over 60.

After two major train accidents in a week, Suresh Prabhu, the Minister for Railways, offered to resign from his post.

Train Derailments

While the number of train accidents has significantly reduced in the last 10 years, derailments have gone up. The proportion of derailments in the total accidents was 75% in 2016-17, the highest in 10 years.

These incidents have brought the focuss on flaws within the Indian Railways as reports reveal train derailment leading the cause of major train accidents in last decade in India.

These incidents have brought the focus on safety issues Indian Railways has been grappling with. Reports suggest train derailment are the primary cause for major trains accidents in the in last decade in India.

Source: Rajya Sabha answers

Loss of Life

The unfortunate derailment of Utkal express in Muzzaffarnagar (Uttar Pradesh) claimed more than 20 lives and left scores of others injured. But, how many people are killed in train accidents each year?

On 11th August 2017, a BJP Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat, asked Railway Minister to provide details of the of train accidents in the last two years and the loss of lives in these mishaps.

The government informed the house that 122 persons were killed in train accidents in 2015-16 and 238 persons were killed in 2016-17.

Source: Rajya Sabha answers

Train Accidents in Last 5 Years

Nearly 53 percent of the 586 train accidents in the last five years were due to derailments with the Utkal Express derailment being the latest.

The worst accident was the November 20, 2016 derailment of the Indore-Patna Express+ near Kanpur which resulted in 150 deaths and over 150 injuries

Source: News18 Research

Reason for Derailments

Derailments are mainly caused by rail fractures. The 2016 Indore-Patna train tragedy was attributed to rail fractures

Most of the coaches of the trains are also old. Some of them, which are made at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennei. These coaches are known to pile up or capsize on collisions and derailments.

On April 3, 2017, IndiaSpend reported that track failures and subsequent derailments are caused by twin factors–excessive – traffic and underinvestment in rail infrastructure.

Source: News18 Research

Last Ten Years - a chronology

August 19, 2017: At least 20 people were killed and 92 injured when 14 coaches of the Kalinga Utkal Express derailed in Muzaffarnagar district in Uttar Pradesh.

January 21, 2017: 29 people were killed and 50 others injured when the Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express derailed in Andhra Pradesh's Vizianagaram district.

December 28, 2016: Two passengers were killed and over 65 injured when 15 coaches of Sealdah-Ajmer Express derailed near Rura, 50 km from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh.

November 20, 2016: 149 people were killed and over 300 injured when 14 coaches of Patna-Indore Express derailed near Pukhrayan station, close to Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh.

August 4, 2015: 25 people were killed and 25 others injured as bogies of Mumbai-Varanasi Kamayani Express derailed and fell into Machak river in Harda district of Madhya Pradesh. Minutes later, the Janata Express also derailed at the same spot.

March 20, 2015: 39 people were killed and 150 injured as Dehradun-Varanasi Janata Express derailed in Uttar Pradesh's Rae Bareli.

May 4, 2014: 20 passengers died and 100 others were injured as Diva Junction-Sawantvadi passenger train derailed between Nagothane and Roha stations in Raigad district of Maharashtra.

May 26, 2014: 25 people were killed and over 50 others injured when Gorakhpur-bound Gorakhdham Express rammed into a stationary goods train near Khalilabad station in Sant Kabir Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh.

July 10, 2011: 70 people were killed and hundreds injured when 15 coaches of the Delhi-bound Kalka Mail derailed in Fatehpur district of Uttar Pradesh.

May 28, 2010: 148 passengers were killed when the Gyaneshwari Express was derailed by Maoists in West Midnapore district of West Bengal.

Source: News18 Research