Guntakal: A Congress MLA from Karnataka was among six persons killed when a speeding granite-laden truck rammed into Bangalore-Nanded Express train after breaking the gate at a level crossing in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh in the wee hours today.
Four bogies of the Nanded-bound train derailed as the truck broke the closed boom gate at Madakasira after “overlooking all safety warnings” and hit the H-1 coach at around 2.20 AM, the Railways said.
Venkatesh Naik, Congress MLA from Deodurg in Raichur district of Karnataka who has been a four-time Lok Sabha MP, was among three passengers killed, officials said, adding the driver of the truck and two railway employees – an AC coach mechanic and an attender – also died in the mishap.
Two injured persons have been shifted to hospital in Bangalore.
However, DIG of Anantapur, K Satyanarayana, said the truck cleaner was among those killed in the mishap while the driver fled. He said it appeared the truck’s brakes had failed, but the actual cause of the accident will be ascertained after an inquiry.
Railways has ordered an inquiry into the mishap by Commissioner Railway Safety of Southern Circle who will submit the report at the earliest, Railway spokesperson Anil Saxena said in Delhi.
Many trains were affected in the section and have been diverted, according to Railway officials.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said it was an unfortunate incident and conveyed his condolences to the families of the victims. He said ex-gratia will be given to the affected.
Cogress President Sonia Gandhi and party Vice President Rahul Gandhi also expressed anguish over the loss of lives.
In a statement, Railways said the manned level crossing gate was closed to facilitate safe passage of Train No 16594 and red flasher light showing danger was on and continuous siren/hooter was sounded to warn the road users.
Besides, there are speed breakers before the L C Gate and the area is well-lit, it said.
The loaded vehicle approached the level crossing at high speed, broke the closed boom gate and hit the H-1 coach of the running train. The truck driver did not heed to any of the warnings, the Railways said, adding it resulted in derailment of four coaches.
Railways Orders an Inquiry Into the Bangalore-Nanded Train Accident
Railways today ordered an inquiry into the Bangalore-Nanded train accident in Ananatapur district of Andhra Pradesh.
Commissioner Railway Safety of Southern Circle has been asked to conduct the probe and submit the report at the earliest, Railway spokesperson Anil Saxena said.
A speeding granite-laden truck rammed into Bangalore-Nanded Express train after breaking the closed gate at a level crossing in Anantapur district in the early hours today killing six persons and injuring two.
Blaming the truck driver for the mishap, the spokesperson said it was a manned level crossing and the driver broke the level crossing gate and hit the train.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu condoled the death of passengers in the “unfortunate” accident.
Ex-gratia will be given to the affected, he tweeted and also asked senior officials including General Manager of the region to rush to the spot.
“We are expecting the line to be cleared for traffic by 4 PM and till then trains would be diverted due to the mishap,” Mr Saxena said.
Railways has also made several helplines operational to help families of the victims.
Helpline Numbers set up in connection with the derailment of Train No. 16594 Bangalore – H.S.Nanded Express between Rangepalli and Penukonda Stations of Bangalore Division, South Western Railway are given below for information of passengers.
A) South Western Railway
Help line desk at Bangalore City Railway Station:
Help line desk at Bangalore Cantonment:
080 2333 9163
Help line desk at Hindupur Station:
Help line desk at Penukonda Station:
Help line number at accident spot:
B) South Central Railway:
1.Anantapur :- 09100992941, 09676903449; 08554-236444
2.Dharmavaram: – 08559-222555
4.Yadgir:- 078999300084; 08473250365