Monday, September 20, 2010

21 killed, over 30 injured in Madhya Pradesh train mishap

21 killed, over 30 injured in Madhya Pradesh train mishap

STAFF REPORTER

SHIVPURI, September 20, 2010

Rescue work is in progress at Badarwas. Photo: A.M. Faruqui

Rescue work is in progress at Badarwas. Photo: A.M. Faruqui, THE HINDU

Twenty one people were left dead and over 30 injured after a freight train collided with a passenger train at the Badarwas railway station in Shivpuri district early Monday morning.

The accident happened at around 5 am on Monday when a freight train rammed into the stationary Gwalior Intercity Express from behind, resulting in the piling up of the last three compartments of the Intercity express on top of each other from the impact.

"Twenty one dead bodies have been recovered and the injured have been sent to district hospitals at Shivpuri and Guna. Two seriously injured people have been airlifted and sent to Jhansi for treatment. It obviously seems a case of negligence on the part of the station staff," Rajendra Prasad, Superintendent of Police, Shivpuri, told The Hindu.

The reasons for the accident include negligence on part of the station staff, which were reportedly inebriated during the time of the accident, and poor visibility due to heavy rains.

The railways however, refuted reports of station staff being inebriated.

"No such evidence was found in my presence and it appears prima facie to be a case of overshooting the signal," Divisional Railway Manager Ghanshyam Singh told The Hindu.

"The drivers of both the trains have been located and blood samples of the station staff and the drivers have been sent for examination to find out if they had consumed alcohol on duty," said the DRM.

According to local residents, the district administration's response was delayed and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and the Central Reserve Police Force were the first to arrive on the scene with doctors and medical aid after which the army came in and took over rescue operations.

The mangled remains of the train are being separated from the wreckage by cranes.

Union Railway minister Mamata Banerjee has termed the accident unfortunate and announced a relief package of Rs. 5 Lakh for the deceased along with a railway job to one family member, Rs. 1 Lakh for the seriously injured and Rs. 50 thousand for the rest of the injured people.

The Minister of State for Railways, K.H.Muniyappa, along with senior railway officials from West Central Rialways and North Western Railways had reportedly rushed to the site.

Union Minister and Guna MP Jyotiraditya Scindia visited the Shivpuri district hospital to inquire about the victims.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Governor Rameshwar Thakur have expressed grief at the accident. The CM said that state airplanes have been made available for railway officials to reach the accident site and rescue and relief operations were going on under the supervision of the police, administration and railway officials.

For public convenience, telephonic helplines were set up at various railway stations including Badarwas, Guna, Bhopal, Shivpuri, Indore, Bina and Gwalior.

Helpline numbers: Badarwaas: 07495245233/9752417560, Indore: 0731 - 2521044, 2521045, 2521046, Ujjain: 0734 - 2560167, Maksi: 07367 - 233045, Guna: 07542253799/07542254778 and Shivpuri: 07492234407/9752417562

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