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Video: 25 dead, 40 hurt in Andhra train collision

Last updated on: May 22, 2012 14:55 IST

Video: 25 dead, 40 hurt in Andhra train collision

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Vicky Nanjappa

At least 25 persons were killed and around 40 injured when Bengaluru-bound Hampi Express collided with a stationary goods train at Penneconda station of Andhra Pradesh's Anantapur district early on Tuesday morning.

Ananthpur district collector Durga Das confirmed that the death toll had risen to 25. He said that operations are still on and the district administration was coordinating with the various other forces.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka government has announced compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the families of the deceased.

Preliminary investigations into the train crash show that it was human error that led to the tragedy. Sources informed that the data logger, which is attached to the signal, confirms that it was an error on part of the driver which led to the incident.

As rescue operations continue at the spot, it has been confirmed that both drivers, Balraj and Yeshu, are safe. They are being questioned by the railway authorities who are ascertaining the cause of the accident.

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Railway minister orders inquiry

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The collision resulted in the train getting derailed and two coaches catching fire. While the fire has been brought under control, rescue operations are still on.

The injured have been admitted to nearby hospitals.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy expressed shock over the train accident at Penukonda and is expected to visit the accident spot by Tuesday afternoon.

The chief minister would be leaving for the accident spot soon and would also go to meet the injured persons in hospitals, sources said.

Railway Minister Mukul Roy, who was in Kolkata, has ordered an inquiry into the accident. Commissioner Railway Safety (Southern Circle), S K Mittal, will conduct a statutory inquiry and has been asked to submit a report at the earliest. "It is sad that so many precious lives have been lost," he said.  

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Image: Passengers trapped in the derailed train being rescued


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Railways ready to give jobs to next of kin of those killed

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Mukul Roy said that the Railways was ready to provide employment to the next of the kin of those killed in the rail mishap at Penakonda in Andhra Pradesh.

If anybody (kin) wants to join the railways, we will provide him or her with jobs," he told reporters at Bengaluru International Aiport en route to the accident spot.

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Image: Bengaluru-bound Hampi Express that collided with a stationary goods train at Penneconda station


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Railways to introduce train protection signal system

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When asked if there was some issue with the signaling system, Mittal said that the railways was looking to introduce the train protection signal system as early as possible. He also said that it was too early to comment whether the crash occurred due to a technical or human fault.

Roy also announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased, Rs 1 lakh for those who sustained grievous injuries and Rs 50,000 to those who received minor injuries.

"The reason of the accident is yet to be ascertained but prima facie it seems that the driver of the Hampi Express overshot the signal," the spokesperson said.

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Image: An injured passenger being taken to hopital


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Railways sets up helplines at Bengaluru, Bellary, Hospet, Hubli

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Chairman Railway Board, Vinay Mittal, who was on a tour to Allahabad cut short his visit and rushed to the accident site.

Also, railway board members (traffic), K K  Srivastava, and (mechanical) Keshav Chandra have left for the spot.

The railways has set up helplines at Bengaluru City, Bellary, Hospet and Hubli.

The helpline numbers at Bengaluru city are 080-22321166, 22156553, 22156554; Bellary 08392-277704; Hospet 08394-221788; Hubli 0836-2345338, 2346141, 2289826.

With inputs from PTI 


Image: Rescue workers at the accident site


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