Three die after Rajdhani Express wagon derails, bringingwall down on pavement at Old Delhi Station

Three people died here on Monday after a rail coach derailed during shunting and brought a wall crashing onto a pavement at the Old Delhi Station. The accident was the third such across the country in a span of 10 days and took place even as railway locomotive drivers demand, in vain, a reduction in duty hours.

While being shunted, the parcel wagon of the Rajdhani Express crashed into the dead end of the track, sending the last coach hurtling into the boundary wall, which fell on those sleeping on the side. The injured persons were taken to the hospital, where they succumbed to their injuries. The Delhi police have arrested the driver of the locomotive and two shunting staff. The Railways has placed the arrested employees under suspension and ordered an inquiry into the accident.

The first of the recent accidents occurred on November 16 when an empty Kerala Express crashed into the Paschim Express here during shunting. Though the latter’s coaches suffered damage, no injuries were reported.

On Sunday, the Bangalore-Nizamuddin Rajdhani Express derailed in Bangalore while being shunted into the yard. One of the coaches ripped through the boundary wall and landed on the adjoining road.

The accidents, having managed to occur in controlled situations, have caused the authorities anxiety. A study has revealed that 91 per cent of surveyed loco drivers suffered from stress due to their working conditions and suffered from multiple medical problems.

The Railways authorities claim there are more than 17,000 vacancies in the department and have, therefore, held out against loco drivers’ demand for reduced working hours.The High Power Committee (Running and Safety) headed by D.P. Tripathi too recommended a reduction — from 10 hours to nine — in the work timings of loco drivers. The Railways is yet to take a decision on the recommendation and, in a submission to another panel, cited paucity of hands to rule out reduction in working hours.

  • 91% loco drivers suffer stress, medical issues due to poor working conditions, reveals study

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