Published on : Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Forty people died as the Gorakhpur Express passenger train travelling at high speed slammed on its break in an attempt to stop. The train hit another freight train that was waiting in the track near the railway station and was reduced to heaps of twisted metals.
Six compartments were derailed and one unreserved seating was buried in the impact. It was reduced to a distorted mass of iron mesh. The exact number of people in the compartment is still not known as even though the seating arrangement is for 72 it is generally full beyond capacity.
The station master was nowhere to be found as the accident occurred from Sant Kabir Nagar, about 140 miles southeast of the state capital, Lucknow. Investigations are being made on the cause of the accident.
Villagers assisted the injured passengers by helping them to come out of the debris; they were the first to arrive as they heard a loud sound of a crash and saw that the train had derailed. The train departed from Haryana’s Hissar town and was just 29 miles from its destination of Gorakhpur when the accident happened.
It has become difficult to conduct rescue operations because the accident occurred in a remote area. The villagers had already conducted the preliminary rescue work of moving the injured passengers in safe places even before the police and rail officials reached the spot. The rescue workers worked till early morning to bring people who were buried under the cars and out of the debris. The train driver died after suffering serious injuries.
All trains were diverted to other tracks to avoid the wreckage. The Prime Minister Narandra Modi twitted his condolences towards the families of the dead. Train accidents are common in India’s railroad network and these accidents occur both due to bad maintenance and human error.
Earlier this month, a train crashed into a jeep at an unmanned railroad crossing in Uttar Pradesh, killing 13 members of a wedding party. Four days earlier, a passenger train derailed, killing at least 19 people just south of Mumbai. Another train derailment last month left dozens injured in the northeast state of Assam.