Today's Paper

18 killed as train derails

GHATNANDUR (Maharashtra) Jan. 3. Eighteen persons were killed and 55 injured when three coaches of the Secunderabad-Manmad Express derailed after the engine driver applied emergency brakes to avoid collision with a stationary goods train at the Ghatnandur railway station, in Beed district of Maharastra, early today.

The incident — the second this fortnight on the South Central Railway — occurred around 1.25 a.m. when the 7064 Secunderabad-Manmad Express was approaching the Ghatnandur station. The driver was given signal to cross the station on the main line when he noticed a goods train on the same track. He applied emergency brakes but three coaches, including a luggage-cum-brake van, a general class compartment and an AC three-tier compartment derailed.

The AC coach rammed into the general compartment while the luggage-cum-brake van jumped the rails and came to rest on its side. Most passengers were fast asleep when the incident occurred.

Sixteen persons died on the spot and two succumbed to injuries at the Sree Ramananda Theertha Medical Hospital at Ambajogai, 21 km from the Ghatnandur. Most of the injured were shifted to the Ambajogai hospital by the time the relief van came. Some were discharged after first aid. Two children, aged three and four, were airlifted to Hyderabad for treatment in an Indian Air Force helicopter requisitioned from Bangalore by the railway authorities.

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