Utkal Express Derailment latest in Long List of Train Tragedies in Last 2 Years
Twenty rail accidents, including some minor ones, have been reported since November 2014. In at least nine of these cases, casualties were reported.
The Utkal Express derailed in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar leading to at least 20 deaths and over 50 injuries. (CNN-News18 picture)
New Delhi: The Utkal Express derailed near Khatauli in UP’s Muaffarnagar district on Saturday evening, leading to at least 20 deaths and several injuries as per early reports. Twenty rail accidents, including some minor ones, have been reported since November 2014. In at least nine of these cases, casualties were reported.
On February 13, 2015, around 7:30 am, nine bogies of the Bangalore-Ernakulam Intercity Express (Train No. 12677) derailed near Anekal on the outskirts of Bengaluru. According to reports, passengers felt the train come to a “screeching halt” after jerking for 3-5 seconds. The D9 compartment of the train crashed into D8 and the first four rows of seats were crushed. Passengers in D8 were either trapped or killed. Ten people were killed in the incident and around over 150 were injured.
Janata Express derailment
The Dehradun-Varanasi Janata Express derailed in Rae Bareli district on March 20, 2015, around 9 am, resulting in at least 58 deaths and over 150 injuries. The train was packed to capacity and had over 400 passengers travelling on it at the time of the accident. According to reports, the driver had alerted on the radio that his brakes had failed and he could not stop the train. A team of Doctors from Lucknow’s King George Medical University (KGMU) was dispatched while the injured were rushed to hospitals in Lucknow and Rae Bareli. An investigation later showed that brake failure was the cause behind the accident.
The 18109 Rourkela-Jammu Tawi Muri Express derailed in Kaushambi district of Uttar Pradesh on May 25, 2015. Eight of the train’s bogies were derailed, leading to five deaths and over 50 injuries.
Madhya Pradesh twin-train derailment
The Kamayani Express and Janata Express, both successively derailed near Harda in Madhya Pradesh on August 4, 2015. The combined passenger-count of both trains at the time was over 300. The Kamayani Express, which was on its way to Varanasi in UP, was the first to derail owing to flash floods in the area. Soon after, the Janata Express derailed near the same spot. The death toll was reported at 31 and over 100 people were injured. Six coaches of the Kamyani Express and four of the Janata Express, in addition to its engine, derailed on the day of the accident. Rescue operations went late into the night and several passengers are said to have been washed away by the Machak River.
Nine coaches of the 12220 Secunderabad Junction–Mumbai Lokmanya Tilak Terminus Duronto Express derailed near Karnataka’s Kalburgi town on September 12, 2015, resulting in two deaths and seven injuries.
A narrow-gauge train, the Shivalik Queen – a chartered train from Kalka to Shimla, derailed on September 12, 2015. The train was occupied by 36 British tourists and a tour guide. Two of the tourists died in the accident and 15 were injured.
One of the worst accidents under Prabhu’s tenure was the derailment of the Indore-Patna Express near Kanpur on November 20, 2016. This resulted in 150 deaths and over 150 injuries. The train pulled out of Pukhrayan station, on the outskirts of Kanpur, and derailed soon after. Several causes, including overcrowding and fracture in the railway line, were attributed to the accident. Teams of the Indian Army, NDRF, Railway mobile-medical units and UP Police were rushed to the spot for relief and rescue work.
Nine coaches and one diesel engine of the 18448 Jagdalpur–Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express derailed in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh in January this year. A few of the train’s coaches even collided with a freight train on a parallel track. According to reports, many of the deaths were caused by a stampede as passengers tried to escape from the train. Forty-one people died and 68 were injured.
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