Five persons including Karnataka Congress MLA Venkatesh Naik (82) from Devdurg, were killed when a granite-laden truck collided with the Bengaluru-Nanded Express today around 1 AM at a level crossing in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh.
The Anantapur police said four of the victims, including Naik, were travelling in a First Class AC compartment, while the helper on the truck was the fifth victim. Naik, a four-time legislator from Devadurga in Karnataka, was travelling from Bengaluru to his home district Raichur. His son B V Nayak is Lok Sabha MP from Raichur.
“The truck driver jumped out seconds before the impact and fell unconscious but survived and he has been questioned. The truck could not stop as the brakes failed. The death toll is 6,” Additional SP K Malyadri said.
The incident occurred at 2:23 am near Penukonda when the truck driver crashed through the gate and collided with the train, which caused three coaches to derail.
South Western Railway officials said that the truck rammed into Train No.16594 Bangalore City-Nanded Express while it was passing the level crossing gate between Rangepalli and Penukonda Stations in Anantapur district on Dharmavaram Section of Bangalore Division of South Western Railway.
Bangalore-Nanded express train collides with lorry in Anantpur(Andhra Pradesh), 5 killed. pic.twitter.com/5NhqU4S8cc
— ANI (@ANI_news) August 24, 2015
The others who died in the crash have been identified as Mysore resident Syed Ahmed (45), who was travelling as an air-conditioning staff on the train, E Pullarao (47), a farmer from Raichur, and TST Raju, managing director of a private firm in Bengaluru. The cleaner of the truck who died in the mishap was identified as S Nagaraju, hailing from Yallanur in Andhra Pradesh. Three persons were injured in the crash and were treated at a government hospital in Penukonda.
Malyadri said the truck carrying the granite was also travelling at high speed. “The driver could not stop as the brakes apparently failed. The truck ran into the second AC compartment and the impact was such that the huge block of granite crushed the truck cabin and crashed into the train coach and rolled out from the other side. It resulted in derailment of 3 coaches also.”
“The truck driver jumped out seconds before the impact and survived. He is being questioned,” he added.
Commissioner for Railway Safety Sunil Kumar Mittal examined the spot and said that a thorough investigation would be conducted to ascertain the reason behind the crash.
Monday’s accident was the third major train accident to occur in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh in the past three years. It is also the second serious accident on the Bengaluru-Nanded Express in the past two years. In
December 2013, a fire broke out on the train late in the night at Kothacheruvu near Puttaparthi in Anantapur. As many as 26 passengers were killed. The district witnessed another major train accident in May 2012.