Nine passengers were killed and 18 seriously injured when nine bogies of Bangalore- Ernakulam Inter-city Express derailed near here today after the train hit a boulder that fell on the track.
The daily train derailed at 0735 hrs nearly 80 minutes after departure from Bengaluru between Anekal Road and Hosur on Bangalore City-Salem Section, on the border of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, about 45 kms from the state capital, Railway and police officials said.
The victims included five men, three women and a nine- year-old, Divisional Railway Manager Anil Kumar Agarwal told reporters at the accident site, adding rescue and relief operation involved teams from Railway, police, fire brigade and National Disaster Response Force.
Check out Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu tweet:
Unfortunate rail accident in Karnataka,Boulder fell on track in Ghat section, train hit it. directed all sr officers to rush with full help
— Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) February 13, 2015
Soon after the mishap, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said in a tweet that a boulder fell on the track and the train hit it. “Prima-facie cause of the derailment was a boulder on the track,” an official statement said.
Agarwal said the engine driver had told authorities that he heard a rumbling sound of a boulder.
Prabhu who had announced he would rush to the accident spot did not do so and visited the injured at a private hospital on Bengaluru outskirts and flew back.
Check out the Bangalore Ernakulam Inter City Express train mishap area on Google Maps:
“I am on way to Bangalore to visit accident site to help all stranded…,” Prabhu had tweeted earlier.
He announced an inquiry “to fix responsibility” and a compensation of Rs two lakh for the families of the deceased. Rs 50,000 would be given to those severely injured and Rs 20,000 to those with simple injuries.
An inquiry into the mishap will be conducted by Commissioner Railway Safety S K Mittal.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of nine passengers, tweeting, “Saddened by the loss of lives due to derailing of Bangalore-Ernakulam Express. Condolences to the families of the deceased.”
Karnataka Director General of Police Lalrokhuma Pachau said “the rest of those with minor injuries were given first aid and they have left the place”.
Union Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, who was asked by Prabhu to rush to the accident site, said the injured were taken to hospitals in Anekal and Bengaluru.
Senior doctors from Railways are monitoring their status and progress by visiting all hospitals.
On the cause of derailment, South Western Railway General Manager P K Saxena said Commissioner of Railway Safety Mittal had visited the spot and he is the statutory person appointed to inquire “into all this”.
“He had a detailed roundup and apparently initially he couldn’t pinpoint anything, and we also had multiple rounds along with DRM and we could not pinpoint any cause.”
On the driver’s statement that he heard a sound, Saxena said “he heard a sound but we are not very sure whether this sound was caused half a second after the derailment or half a second before the derailment, so that half second would determine…”
On Prabhu’s tweet about the boulder, he said “that was the driver’s version. He (the driver) said there was a stone…”
“He (the driver) may be saying, I’m not denying what he saw was really there or not, but it is hard to imagine that a small boulder would cause… Ultimately it will be inquired into by Commissioner for Railway Safety.”
To a question on Rail Minister not visiting the spot, Saxena said, “I really don’t know. Firstly he visited the patients… He has given that a priority. Our former Rail Minister Sadananda Gowda visited here. Ananth Kumar (Union Minister) is coming here… after all two union ministers are coming here. they have lot of sympathy for all this…”
“He (Prabhu) asked me about relief operations, I have explained to him.”
By tomorrow noon the site should be clear, Saxena said.
“This is a derailment. Derailment can happen only on three accounts- number one it could be due to over speeding on the spot, number two- it could be due to mechanical flaw in the railway track, third it could be due to mechanical flaw in the bogie or the engine…,” said R P Sharma, Additional Director General of Police, Railway Police.
Railway Minister rushes to Bangalore -Ernakulam train accident site, orders probe
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, who rushed to the train accident site in Karnataka to monitor relief and rescue measures, has ordered an inquiry “to fix responsibility” and promised all help to the affected.
Expressing grief over the mishap, the minister announced a compensation of Rs two lakh for the families of the deceased. While Rs 50,000 would be given to those severely injured, Rs 20,000 would be given to those who suffered simple injuries.
“I am on way to Bangalore to visit accident site to help all stranded. All possible help will be rendered to families affected. Ordered enquiry to fix responsibility and for corrective action to prevent such unfortunate accidents.
Monitoring action regularly,” Prabhu tweeted before leaving for the accident site.
Ten passengers were killed and 16 seriously injured when nine bogies of the Ernakulam-bound Express train from Bengaluru derailed between Anekal-Hosur on the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border at around 7.40 AM.
Chairman Railway Board AK Mittal and Director General Health Services MK Budhalkoti have also rushed to the site to ensure speedy operation.
An inquriy into the mishap will be conducted by Commissioner Railway Safety SK Mittal.
“Unfortunate rail accident in Karnataka, Boulder fell on track in Ghat section, train hit it. directed all sr officers to rush with full help,” Prabhu said in an earlier tweet.