Amid foggy conditions, a train headed to Ghaziabad rammed into another stationery train from behind on Tuesday at Baghola village near Palwal, around 80 km from Delhi. The driver of the moving train was killed in the incident, while two passengers and the guard present in the last bogie were severely injured.
The Palwal-Ghaziabad EMU train had rammed into the stationery Delhi-bound Lokmanya Tilak Haridwar Express. According to railway officials, the impact of the collision was such that the guard bogie of the express train and the engine of the EMU were badly damaged.
The accident took place around 8:25 AM between Palwal and Asaoti railway stations. The accident also derailed the last bogie of the express and the engine of EMU.
While the EMU driver, Yashpal (51), a resident of Shivpuri, Ghaziabad died on the spot, three persons including the guard of Lokmanya Tilak Haridwar AC Express, B B Gupta, a resident of Jhansi (55), were injured. The other two injured have been identified as Bunty (35), a resident of Bihar and Hari Krishan (40), both passengers of EMU. “The condition of all the injured persons is stable. While Hari sustained head injuries, Bunty fractured his left arm,” Chief Medical Officer (Palwal) Aditya Swarup Gupta told The Indian Express. The deceased died because of the impact of the collision that resulted in chest compression, Gupta added.
Rescue officials at the accident spot also said over two dozen passengers of the two trains, mostly those in the EMU, sustained minor injuries in the accident and were let off after being administered first-aid.
Sources said doctors from Palwal, Faridabad, Ballabgarh and New Delhi had rushed to the spot. Passengers were transported using buses and other trains, informed Palwal Deputy Commissioner, Ashok Meena.
Eyewitnesses alleged that rescue teams had arrived at the spot late and did not even have gas cutters or other equipment to help bring out the trapped passengers. A passenger of the EMU sitting in the first bogie behind the engine alleged the EMU driver died since he could not be evacuated immediately.
“The Haridwar Express was stopped at the signal when it was hit by the EMU,” said Neeraj Sharma, Chief Public Relations Officer, Northern Railways. Prima facie, the accident was caused by human error and not technical failure, Sharma added. He also said the driver of the EMU could not see the Haridwar express due to fog.
“According to the rule, the driver of the EMU train was supposed to stop at an earlier signal. The fog also played a key role in the mishap, because of which he couldn’t see the train standing ahead of him,” Sharma added.
However, locals and railway officials at the spot claimed the EMU driver was speeding and did not notice the signal.