Sunday, December 29, 2013

Accident Spot Cleared, Train Movement Restored

Published: 29th December 2013
Railway officials and the district administration here undertook rescue operations and shifted the accident-hit coach of the Bengaluru-Nanded express at Kothacheruvu  to a nearby station to resume the uninterrupted movement of trains over the single track where the tragedy took place on Saturday.

The damaged train was taken to Sathyasai Prasanthi Nilayam Railway Station at Puttaparthi. Soon after the accident, the South West Railway officials swung into action and alerted their their sources, expediting the rescue operation. After putting off the flames, the bodies were recovered and autopsies were performed at the spot by 7.30 am. DNA samples were also collected.
The bodies were sent to Victoria hospital in Bangalore. The injured who were admitted in Dharmavaram and Anantapur government hospitals were also taken to Bangalore for better treatment.
The spot was cleared by the time politicians, including Union Minister of Railways Mallikharjuna Kharge, arrived. Revenue Minister N Raghuveera Reddy and Anantapur MP Ananta Venkatarami Reddy were the first to reach the spot.
YSRCP president Jaganmohan Reddy, who visited the spot, said that the government had failed in taking proper measures to avoid the recurrence of such incidents. Instead of announcing ex-gratia to the bereaved families of the victims, the government should come out with a proper plan to curb such mishaps, he said.
Hindupur TDP MP Nimmala Kishtappa, MLAs B K Parthasarathy, Palle Raghunatha Reddy and Paritala Sunitha, demanded that employment be provided to a family member of each of the deceased, besides being given an ex-gratia of `10 lakh. They also asked for an ex-gratia of `5 lakh to be given to the injured.
Kharge announced that a compensation of `5 lakh would be given to the families of the deceased.
TTE in Shock
Had the journey gone smoothly for another 20 minutes, Travelling Ticket Examiner (TTE) B N Mohan would have completed his duty and rested for the day. But for him, Saturday morning left scars that he would never forget.
Mohan was travelling in B1 AC coach which went up in flames and was seen shell shocked after surviving the inferno. Mohan, who is coming from Bangalore, was scheduled to complete his duty at Dharmavaram railway station, the next station after the incident spot, remained as one of the eye witness to the gruesome incident, which claimed 26 lives besides leaving about a dozen persons injured.
When asked about the incident, Mohan, said that he was not sure from where the fire started. Echoing the words of majority of the survivors in the incident that they first felt uneasy to take breath in the totally closed air conditioned bogies due to smoke and by the time they suspected some untoward incident, they noticed flames surrounding them.
Feared, all of us ran towards the doors in a hurry to save our lives, he said. The TTE said that he faced difficulty in opening the main doors of the bogie as they are in a state of utter fear and confusion.  “As they did not open even after train coming to a halt, passengers
began breaking window glasses,” he said. But, unfortunately, some of the passengers died by the time, while the remaining managed to save themselves, he said.
As media and officials tried to get more information from him about what went inside the burning bogie, Mohan, who was visibly shaken, left the place pleading to leave him as he was yet to come out of the shock.
9 Bodies Identified
The bodies of nine victims, who died in the Bangalore-Nanded Express fire on Saturday, have been identified by their relatives on the basis of their ornaments and watches.
Providing details of the identification process, Home Minister K J George said 26 bodies had been brought to Victoria Hospital.
“They are charred beyond recognition. While relatives have identified nine victims, their bodies would be handed over on condition that they should not be cremated.However, the relatives will be permitted to bury the bodies as we can exhume them if there is a mix-up after we get DNA test results,” the Minister said.
Of the nine victims, eight were identified as Sudha, 60, Leela, 62, Ramananda, 65, and Kulkarni of Chennai, Basavaraju, 50, and his daughter Sarvamangala, 28, from Kurnool, AP, Anil Kumar from Bangalore and Shubas Patil of Adoni in Raichur district.

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