Indian Railways registers Best Rail Safety figures in 5 years: Officials

‘Fatalities in rail accidents stood at 40 between 2017-18’

NEW DELHI: The Indian Railways has registered its best safety figures in five years for the corresponding 12-month period, a senior Railway official said. There have been just 40 deaths in 75 accidents between September 2017 and August 2018.

Between September 2016 and August 2017, there were 80 train accidents and 249 fatalities. In the corresponding period for 2017 and 2018, the number of deaths stood at 40, the official said.

He added that there were two major accidents during this period — the derailment of the Utkal Express in August 2017 which killed over 20 people, and the death of 13 children in Uttar Pradesh on April 26 this year after a train rammed into their school van.

Similarly, between September 2013 and August 2014, the number of deaths was 275 in 139 accidents, in the corresponding period in 2014-2015 while the number was 196 deaths in 108 accidents. The rest 36 deaths in 2017-2018 were accounted for by other factors like mishaps at unmanned-level crossings (28 fatalities), six deaths at manned-level crossings, one in a coach fire accidents and one in “miscellaneous” accidents.

The reason for this, the official said was better tracks, replacement of existing coaches with LHB ones and more focus on maintenance in the last four years have resulted in fewer accidents due to technical reasons.

He further said that the vast reduction in injuries and fatalities happened primarily because of the massive renewal of tracks, regular safety reviews, better safety training of staff and close monitoring of safety.