Andhra Pradesh

Death toll in Vizianagaram train tragedy rises to 41

Rescue workers examine a derailed coach of Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Express near Vizianagaram on Sunday. Photo: Special Arrangement   | Photo Credit: K. Srinivasa Rao

Forty one passengers were killed and 50 injured when nine bogeys of Jagdalpur–Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express derailed near Kuneru Railway Station in Komarada mandal of Vizianagaram district around 11.30 p.m. on Saturday.

Railway minister Suresh Prabhu, who visited the accident site at Kuneru, said ₹2 lakh will be given to the kin of the dead, ₹50,000 to critically injured and ₹25,000 to the ones with minor injuries. He also added that an independent inquiry will be ordered into the accident.                       

The toll could go higher as many are believed to be trapped in S-8 and S-9 coaches, which were badly damaged in the accident.

Coaches of belonging to 2 general second-class, 4 sleeper-class, a second-cum-third AC and a third AC were affected in the accident.

NDRF, RPF and CRPF teams are carrying out the relief and rescue operations.

The Rayagada District Collector, CPRF Commandant are supervising the relief efforts.

Divisional Railway Manager of Waltair, Chandhralekha Mukherjee, and other officials have rushed to the accident spot and are coordinating the rescue efforts. A relief train from Visakhapatnam has rushed to the spot.

Four teams, including one dog squad, are engaged in rescue operation.

Injured rushed to Rayagada, Parvatipuram and Vizag

The injured persons are being shifted to hospitals in Rayagada, Parvathipuram and Visakhapatnam.

According to East Coast Railways, 22 of the injured were shifted to Parvatipuram government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, while 32 others have been admitted to a hospital in Rayagada district.

The train left Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh at around 4.25 p.m. on Saturday to reach Bhubaneswar on Sunday.

Odisha CM reviews situation

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik chaired a review meeting and directed Chief Secretary, Director General Police and Health Secretary to rush to Rayagada to monitor the treatment of injured passengers.

Mr. Patnaik also spoke to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.

Passengers recall the incident

According to Hargobind Maharana, who was travelling in one of the general compartments, the incident took place around 11.30 p.m.

"While most of us were asleep, a few of us were chatting. The train was moving with a good speed and we heard a loud thud. The train started shaking violently and there was a lot of dust. We realised that the train had derailed and would topple any moment. Within a couple of seconds the train lost control and derailed. I lost my consciousness in the impact and when I regained my consciousness my leg was under the water tank of the train that broke open from the ceiling of the train. Many died and some were critically wounded."

Maharana, a daily wager, was on his way from Bhavanipatna to Berhampur.

But Durga Prasad Panda had a different story to tell.

On the hospital bed, he recalled, "we were all sleeping and it happened all of a sudden. Passengers were crushed in the impact. I somehow wriggled out of the bogey through an opening but my wife Subhasini was still inside. I am worried about the fate of my wife."

Helpline numbers at Rayagada

BSNL: 06856-223400, 06856-223500

BSNL Mobile: 09439741181, 09439741071

Airtel: 07681878777.

Helpline numbers at Rayagada

Railway no.s: 83331, 83332, 83333, 83334

BSNL: 08922-221202, 08922-221206


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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 7:05:38 PM |

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