In an accident on the Howrah-Chennai railway line in Andhra Pradesh, 13 people lost their lives, and 50 others sustained injuries when a passenger train overshot a signal and collided with another train on Sunday. This accident occurred several months after the horrific three-train collision in Odisha that claimed the lives of over 280 individuals.
The mishap took place when a special passenger train travelling from Visakhapatnam to Palasa came to a halt on the tracks between Alamanda and Kantakapalle near Kothsavatsala due to the absence of a signal. It was then that the Vizag-Raigad passenger train rammed into it, causing the derailment of three train coaches.
Railway sources have attributed this accident to human error, saying that the signalling was not noticed by the locomotive pilot.
“The driver of the Visakhapatnam-Rayagada passenger train was responsible for the accident, as he overshot a signal and hit the rear end of the Palasa train. The driver of the Rayagada train was also killed in the accident,” Biswajit Sahu, Chief Public Relations Officer at East Coast Railways was quoted by NDTV as saying.
Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw expressed his condolences and confirmed that all injured individuals had been transferred to various hospitals for treatment. He also announced a compensation of ₹10 lakh for the families of the deceased, stating, “All injured shifted to hospitals. Ex-gratia compensation disbursement started – ₹10 Lakh in case of death, ₹2 Lakh towards grievous and ₹50,000 for minor injuries.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his support to the affected families, pledging financial assistance from the PM’s National Relief Fund. “The Prime Minister has announced an ex-gratia of ₹2 lakh from the PMNRF for the next of kin of each deceased due to the train derailment between Alamanda and Kantakapalle section. The injured would be given ₹50,000,” the PMO Office confirmed.
“After the accident yesterday, we were instructed by our DG and accordingly three teams came here from Odisha. We have been assisting the NDRF and SDRF in the rescue and restoration work,” said Suresh Kumar, a fire official.