Updated: August 24, 2015 11:42:17 am
The train accident in the Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh on Monday morning that lead to the death of five persons, including a Congress MLA from Karnataka, is the second serious accident involving the Bangalore-Nanded Express in the last two years. It is also the third major accident to occur in Anantapur district in the last three years.
In December 2013, a fire broke out in the Nanded Express at Kothacheruvu near Puttaparthi at around 3 am killing 26 people who were travelling in an AC three-tier coach.
In May 2012, the Nanded Express had a narrow escape in the wee hours in Anantapur district when the Hampi Express, which crosses Penukonda at a similar time as the Nanded train, jumped a signal and crashed into a stationary goods train at the Penukonda station at around 3 am. The crash resulted in the death of 25 people on board the Hampi Express.
Railway investigations of the 2012 Hampi Express crash had found that the Hampi Express and the Nanded Express were scheduled to cross Penakonda at the same time around 3 am with the Nanded Express going first on the platform line followed by the Hampi Express. The loco-pilot of the Hampi Express despite having a stop signal moved towards the Penakonda station and took line 2 where a goods train had been parked resulting in the crash.
Monday morning’s accident occurred at around 2:30 am at Madakshira in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh when a granite truck crashed through a level crossing and rammed into the first class air-conditioned coach of the Nanded Express. Three air-conditioned coaches were derailed after the truck crashed into the train.
“The granite truck crashed into the A1 bogie. The Karnataka MLA was travelling in the bogie. All the dead are from this bogie. One of the others has been identified as a railway attendant. Two people are reported injured,” superintendent of police (railways) Siddaramappa said.
The Karnataka Congress MLA Venkatesh Naik, 79, a four time legislator from Devadurga in Raichur was travelling in the train from Bengaluru to his home district of Raichur, the police official said. The injured have been taken to a hospital in Penukonda in Anantapur district, police said.
Anantapur Police said that five passengers in the H1 compartment including MLA Naik and the helper in the truck died. “The truck driver jumped out seconds before the impact and fell unconcious 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.
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