Andhra Pradesh train accident: Rail services resume on Howrah-Chennai line

Within 19 hours of the accident, train services were restored, and the first train, a freight one, passed on the down line at 2:23 pm.

ByPTI

Published Oct 31, 2023 | 1:25 PMUpdatedOct 31, 2023 | 1:25 PM

Restoration work at the train accident site

Train services resumed on the Howrah-Chennai route a day after a collision involving two passenger trains in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh left 13 people dead and 50 injured.

Joint Collector of Vizianagaram district, Mayur Ashok said, “Twelve died at the accident site itself, and one succumbed while undergoing treatment.”

According to a Railway official, the 50 injured have been shifted to hospitals in Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram.

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy visited those injured at the Government General Hospital in Vizianagaram.

Accompanied by Education Minister Botcha Satyanarayana, Vizianagaram’s District Collector S Nagalakshmi and others, the CM inspected the treatment facilities and spoke to the victims.

Related: Initial probe points finger at Rayagada passenger crew

The accident

Officials of the East Coast Railway (ECR) said at around 7 pm on Sunday, 30 October, the Rayagada Passenger train hit the Palasa Passenger train from behind at Kantakapalli, about 40 km from Visakhapatnam, causing three coaches to derail.

Five coaches plus the locomotive got mangled. Three coaches were of the train which was ahead (Palasa Passenger) and two coaches and the engine were of the Rayagada passenger, Waltair DRM Saurabh Prasad said.

Coordinated multi-departmental efforts spearheaded by railway authorities have restored train services in the Howrah Chennai Railway line, following a train accident at Kantakapalli, about 40 km from Visakhapatnam.

Train lines restored

Within 19 hours of the accident, train services were restored, and the first train, a freight one, passed on the down line at 2.23 pm and the first train on the up line.

The Railway Board and Andhra Pradesh state government also chipped in for relief and restoration work.

As many as 1,000 workers, staff and supervisors from multiple departments were engaged, including pressing a 140-ton crane and more than 10 excavators into service.

As part of relief efforts, the local district administration was provided with ambulances, accident relief trains, medical teams, senior doctors and others.

Besides Waltair DRM Saurabh Prasad, ECR general manager Manoj Sharma also visited the accident site for relief and restoration works.

Related: CM Jagan poses three questions to Union government, railways minister

Completed post-mortem

Meanwhile, the Vizianagaram district administration completed post-mortem procedures on 12 bodies and handed them over to their families, District Collector S Nagalakshmi told PTI.

Earlier in the day, CM Jagan Mohan Reddy urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to audit all rail lines in the country.

Expressing shock over the incident, Reddy instructed officials to provide an ex-gratia amount of ₹10 lakh each to the kin of the deceased and permanently disabled survivors.

He also directed officials to offer ₹2 lakh to injured persons who will recover within a month and get discharged from the hospital and ₹5 lakh to victims who need hospitalisation beyond one month.

Following the train crash, several trains were cancelled, rescheduled and diverted earlier.

Related: Survivors recount feeling heavy jerks before train collision

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