Ten people were run over and an equal number injured by a speeding train near Vizianagaram town on Saturday evening, a railway official said.
According to the East Coast Railway spokesperson, some of the passengers of Bokaro Express (Alleppey to Dhanbad), proceeding to Bokaro Steel city, pulled the chain at the railway yard at Gotlam station near Vizianagaram town when they heard a rumour that a compartment of the train was on fire and jumped out on the tracks at around 6.50pm.
As it was dark, they did not see Rayagada-Vijaywada passenger train coming from the opposite direction on the adjacent track and were run over, he said.
“The passengers pulled the chain as rumours spread that one of the compartments (of Bokaro Express) had caught fire. As it was dark, they did not notice the oncoming train”, the railway official said.
Senior police and railway officials have left for the spot, the spokesperson added.
Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge termed the incident as “most tragic” and instructed the officials to ensure the injured get speedy treatment.
An inquiry has been ordered into the incident. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy expressed anguish over the accident.
Reddy, who was in Bangalore, spoke to the district Collector and the SP over phone and asked them to supervise the relief operations, an official release said in Hyderabad.
Railway authorities have set up a helpline at Visakhapatnam to provide information about the victims. The telephone numbers are 0891-2843003, 2843004, 2843005.
Vizianagaram district collector Kantilal Dande is supervising the rescue and relief work.
Railway Begins Probe
Thiruvanathapuram Divisional Railway Manager Rajeev Agarwal told Express on Saturday that the East Coast Railway has started an investigation into the accident involving the Bokaro Express in Andhra Pradesh. ‘’We have not yet received any information about the identification of the bodies. We hope the details would reach us on Sunday,’’ he said. “Though there is no information about Keralites in the list of victims, there is one commuter who boarded the ill-fated train from Alappuzha. According to the information we received, he was travelling to Jharsuguda in Odisha. We doubt he is from Jharkhand as his surname is Topno” the DRM said.