Sunday, January 3, 2010

10 killed, 43 hurt in 3 UP rail accidents involving 5 trains
Sat, 02/01/2010 -

Net Indian News Network

At least ten people were killed and 42 others injured when the 2556 Gorakhdham Express crashed into the stationary 2418 Prayagraj Express at Panki near Kanpur on the North-Central Railway in Uttar Pradesh this morning as a thick fog enveloped many parts of north India and reduced visibility to near zero.
As many as 19 of those injured were in a serious condition, official sources said.
In a second accident, the Bihar-bound 4006 Lichchavi Express rammed into the stationary Delhi-Islampur 2402 Magadh Express at Saraibhopat near Etawah early this morning. The driver of the Delhi-Sitamarhi Lichchavi Express, who was trapped inside the mangled engine of the train, was extricated safely with minor injuries, official sources said.
Ministry of Railways spokesman Anil Saxena told NetIndian that Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of each of those killed in the accident, Rs one lakh for each of those seriously injured and Rs 10,000 for those who suffered minor injuries.
He said Ms Banerjee had directed Railway Board Member (Mechanical) Praveen Kumar and Member (Electrical) Sudesh Kumar to rush to the spot. Other senior officials were already at the sites of the two accidents and efforts were being made on a war footing to restore traffic on the route.
Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, who was among the passengers on the Prayagraj Express, said action taken against those found responsible for the accidents.
Another scene at Panki near Kanpur where the Gorakhdam Express rammed into Prayagraj Express on Saturday morning.
Both the accidents occurred within the space of one hour on theTundla-Kanpur Section in the Allahabad division of North Central Railway (NCR) on the busy Delhi-Kanpur-Howrah trunk route.
There was a third incident in Uttar Pradesh when the Sarayu Express hit trolley near Pratapgarh, some 60 km from Allahabad today. Two people suffered minor injuries in the mishap, reports reaching here said.
NCR spokesman Amit Malaviya told NetIndian over the telephone that the first accident at Etawah occurred around 0815 hours, while the second occured near Kanpur around 0900 hours.
All the ten persons killed were passengers of the Prayagraj Express, he said. In the Etawah accident, barring the driver of the Lichchavi Express, no one was injured, he said.
According to sources, the dense fog had also led to a tripping of the northern grid in the early hours of today, and the shutdown of the electricity supply caused the Delhi-Allahabad Prayagraj Express to stop, when it was hit from behind by the Bhiwani-Gorakhpur Gorakhdham Express.
The three rear coaches of the Prayagraj Express got derailed as a result of the accident. Two of them wee ordinary second class general coaches while the third was a passenger-cum-luggage-cum-guard (SLR) coach. In the case of the Magadh Express, the rear SLR coach got derailed.
Mr Malaviya said the injured were admitted to three hospitals in Kanpur. Railway medical and accident relief teams had reached the two accident sites and efforts were on to restore the lines at the earliest. Movement of trains on the section was likely to resume by midnight tonight, he said.
NCR authorities had identified five of the ten people killed in the accident. Their names were given as Ms Usha Rai, Ms Urmila Rai, Mr Krishna Kumar, Mr Shivanand and Ms Kaushalya Devi.
The Railways have set up helpline numbers at Allahabad (0532-2408149, 2408128 and 2407393), Kanpur (0512-2323015, 2323016 and 2323018), Tundla (05612-220337) and Aligarh (0571-2403458) to provide information to the public.
Sources said that the Prayagraj Express had resumed its journey to Allahabad after the last two coaches, which were damaged, had been detached. The Gorakhdam Express had been pulled back to the nearest station so that the passengers could be provided with food, water and other amenities, they said.
Similarly, the Lichchavi Express and the Magadh Express had also been moved to the nearest stations, they said.
In New Delhi, a spokesman for the Northern Railway said several trains were running between one and five hours late because of the fog, the power disruption and the two accidents. Some trains were also cancelled or diverted.
A press release from NCR said a special train would leave for Gorakhpur this evening from Kanpur to carry the passengers of the Gorakhdham Express.
It said free breakfast and lunch packets had been distributed to the passngers at Kanpur and Etawah stations. Vehicles had been deployed at Kanpur and Etawah to carry the stranded passengers to their destinations, it said.
Late tonight, the Government announced that an inquiry would be conducted into the accidents by Mr P K Vajpayee, Commissioner of Railway Safety, North-East Circle, Lucknow, Ministry of Civil Aviation

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