120 killed as Indore-Patna Express derails in Uttar Pradesh

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On Monday dawn at around 3.03 AM, the driver of the Indore-Patna Express observe “the overhead equipment shaking” and “felt a jerk” — both out of the normal occurrences — and applied emergency brakes. Show official Railways proof of the most horrible train accident in current years that killed at least 120 people and wounded over 180.

Early on Sunday morning at Pukhrayan in Kanpur Dehat district of Uttar Pradesh, fourteen coaches of the Indore-Patna Express had derailed. This is the most horrible accident since May 28, 2010, when the Gyaneshwari Express derailed in West Midnapore district of West Bengal, killing at least 148 people. The Commissioner of Railway Safety, Eastern, P K Acharya, who is inquisitive Sunday’s mishap, will look into the option of a fracture in the tracks as a likely cause of the mishap, which led to the coaches to not only go off the rails but pile up, leading to elevated casualties.

Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha, who arrived at the mishap site, conveyed reporters that a fracture in the rails and jamming of wheels is supposed to have caused the accident. Little after 3 am, when most travelers were fast asleep, the Patna-bound train bound the tracks. Two sleeper coaches, S1 and S2, telescoped into each other, trapping several people. Most of the travelers were travelling to eastern UP and Bihar.

Ruby Gupta, who was to get married on December 1, was travelling from Indore to her village in Deoria, eastern UP, with her father, sister and brother. Younger brother Vishal as Ruby and younger sister Khushi cried inconsolably and has also further conveyed that, we had got Rs 3 lakh exchanged into new currency notes. That bag has gone lost.

My father Ram Prasad Gupta is missing. “Somebody please find my father,” cried Khushi at the Pukhrayan community health centre (CHC). By evening, came news that their father had been recognized among the dead. Official communication accessed that driver Jalat Sharma and chief loco inspector P D Yadav conveyed railway officers that the train was running at 110 km per hour when the mishap occurred.

They conveyed the officers that there was no problem throughout the run, except around the time that it was crossing the Pukhrayan section, 60 km from Kanpur. According to the accounts of Sharma and Yadav, the emergency brake was applied at kilometer 1,290. It was only following crossing almost six overhead equipment (OHE) masts that the train came to a complete halt. “…at km number 1290/6, applied emergency train stop at km number 1290/12, loco and load checkered found loco safe.

14 coaches from engine derailed…heavy casualty,” says one of the communication messages. The inhabitants of Pukhrayan were among the initial to reach the spot and commence rescuing those trapped. Rescue operations, led by teams of the Army, UP Police, NDRF and RAF, sustained late into the night, with bodies still being recovered.

Over two dozen trains have been distracted as railway officials worked to restore the track. Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order, Daljit Chowdhary has also further conveyed that, the wounded were rushed to Kanpur’s Hallet Hospital and the Pukhrayan CHC. Divisional Railway Manager, Jhansi, S K Agarwal, conveyed that, the Sabarmati Express, on its way to Jhansi, had gone on the same track at 2.53 am, minutes before the Indore-Patna Express, and the driver hadn’t felt any jerk.

Agarwal has also further conveyed that, tracks are examined every one month and the wheels of the coaches undergo “ultrasonic detection tests” every two months. “I had myself done the inspection of this track over a month ago,” he conveyed, adding, “The reason will be known only subsequent to the inquiry.”

Derailment is the cause of 50 per cent of all mishap in the Indian Railways. This mishap occurred at a time when Railways, at the behest of Minister Suresh Prabhu, was in the middle of a yearlong drive to attain its “zero accident mission”. The mishap has also brought into question the money spent on asset maintenance, counting track renewal.

Dinesh Trivedi, former Railway Minister and Chairman of the Standing Committee on Railways has also further conveyed that, the focus of the ministry has distorted from operation to cosmetics. This is derailment of an entire railway organisation, not a train. The mishap coincides with Rail Vikas Shivir, a three-day “brainstorming” seminar in Surajkund, Haryana. One of the topics of discussion was how to bring about “zero accidents”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who reached for the closing session of the seminar, held about eight hours following the mishap, declared a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to each of the subsequently of kin of the dead and other ex-gratia packages. Late Sunday afternoon Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, who went to the mishap site, also declared Rs 3.5 lakh compensation to each of the families of the dead, along with other smaller amounts for the wounded.