ALLAHABAD: At least 20 people were injured, some critically, when 11 train coaches derailed early on Wednesday in Uttar Pradesh, the country’s fifth major rail accident in the past year and only days after 23 people were killed in another derailment.
Northern Railways spokesperson Neeraj Sharma said the Kaifiyat Express travelling from Azamgarh to the capital Delhi collided with a dumper carrying construction material around 2110 GMT, causing the coaches to derail.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu tweeted that “some passengers have received injuries and have been shifted to nearby hospitals. I am personally monitoring situation, rescue operations. Have directed senior officers to reach the site immediately”.
Kaifiyat Express travels between Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi and the collision has impacted the train operations on the Delhi-Howrah route. Railway spokesperson Anil Saxena said the train was travelling from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh to Delhi when it collided with a dumper around 2.50am between Pata and Achhalda railway stations. One of the bogies of the train overturned which impacted the other bogies, causing their derailment.
He said various departments will conduct their own inquiries. “Since it was a dumper which had collided due to trespassing, the local police would be investigating the matter and booking the dumper owner and the driver. Similarly, railways has also initiated its inquiry if there was any lapses on our part,” Saxena added.
Senior railway ministry officials along with National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and a medical train have rushed to the site to carry out rescue operations and provide support to the victims.
Twenty three people were killed and at least 123 were injured last Saturday in Uttar Pradesh when 13 coaches of a train came off the tracks as it was heading to the Hindu holy city of Haridwar.
India’s railway system is the world’s fourth biggest rail network, but it is grappling with chronic under-investment and over-crowding.