Updated: March 21, 2015 11:03:16 am
Thirty-two persons died and 42 suffered injuries after two bogies of the Varanasi-Dehradun Janata Express derailed at the Bachhrawan railway station in Rae Bareli district, about 50 km from Lucknow, on Friday morning. The Railways has constituted an inquiry and asked the Commissioner Railway Safety, Northern Circle, to ascertain the cause of the accident.
According to the Railways, the accident occurred at 9.10 am when the Varanasi-bound train reached platform 1 of the Bachhrawan station but did not stop there as scheduled.
“While the train was entering Bachhrawan station, the loco pilot of the train overshot the signal and crashed into the sand hump, causing derailment of the train engine and two coaches,” said a Railways spokesperson in a statement.
“The train was to stop at the platform but it did not. The train instead hit the dead-end on the spare track at the railway station and three bogies derailed,” said A K Puthia, General Manager, Northern Railway, who rushed to the accident site.
PM has expressed grief on the loss of lives in the train accident in UP & has wished the injured a speedy recovery.
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) March 20, 2015
Unfortunate accident in UP. Though I must be in parliament for my duties,ordered Chairman Rail Board,member of Board to rush to site ASAP
— Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) March 20, 2015
He said a general class bogie, a sleeper coach and a brake van had been crushed. Most of the casualties occurred in the general class bogie.
Dinesh Kumar Vishwakarma, 27, who boarded the train from Lucknow to go to Rae Bareli, suffered fractures in both legs. Vishwakarma, who was going for counselling for a teaching job, was also sitting in the general bogie.
“The general bogie was not as crowded as it usually is. All passengers were seated. Suddenly, the bogie was crushed from behind and both my legs were stuck between the seats. All the passengers sitting near me were dead,” said Vishwakarma.
Bodies were recovered and injured passengers were rescued till as late as 2 pm because of the difficulty in pulling them out.
Northern Railway spokesperson Ashwini Srivastava said 32 persons died till late evening and 42 were injured.
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu announced Rs 2 lakh ex gratia payment for the next of kin of the deceased, Rs 50,000 for the grievously injured and Rs 20,000 for those who sustained minor injuries.
The injured passengers said help first came from residents of Bachhrawan as the accident site was close to residential areas. Locals managed to rescue those who were trapped between the seats of the crushed general class bogie, just behind the engine.
It took more than an hour for the police, administration and railway officials to start rescue work. They were joined by ITBP jawans and the railway accident relief train that arrived from Lucknow. Ambulances from Lucknow and Rae Bareli carried the injured persons to hospitals.
Puthia said there was no delay in the Railways’ response. He added that medical relief had to come from Lucknow so it took some time.
Chandrapal, 50, a resident of Rampur, who suffered a fracture in his leg, said he was sitting in the general bogie on the first seat. “Just before the accident there was some noise. I stood up but the train was crushed before I could move anywhere. My leg was crushed between seats. Locals who reached there made space between the seats and I could get my leg out,” he recalled at the trauma centre of King George Medical University, where most of the injured were admitted.
Chandrapal said locals rescued several people before the police and administration officials arrived.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha visited the injured passengers at the trauma centre. Sinha also visited the site of the accident.
Following the incident, the North Eastern Railway deferred a ceremony wherein Rajnath and Sinha were supposed to flag off a double-decker train between Lucknow and Delhi on Saturday morning.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav also announced an ex gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh to the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those injured.
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