13 dead in Andhra Pradesh train accident, ex-gratia announced

Visakhapatnam: East Coast Railway and South Central Railway have cancelled and diverted several trains

BY | Monday, 30 October, 2023

At least 13 people have reportedly died in a train accident on the Howrah-Chennai line in Vizianagaram district, Andhra Pradesh on Sunday. Over 50 people are also said to be injured in the train mishap between Alamanda and Kantakapalle that falls under Vizianagaram-Kottavalasa Railway Section of Waltair Division of the East Coast Railway.

The incident took place around 7:00 pm when the Rayagada Passenger train was hit from behind by the Palasa Passenger train at Kantakapalli causing total five coaches to derail, Three from Palasa Passenger and two coaches and locomotive from Rayagada Passenger.

According to PTI, East Coast Railway’s Divisional Railway Manager Saurabh Prasad said that all the affected coaches have been looked into and the locomotive is being lifted now to see for a final round of checking by the NDRF if any bodies are still trapped inside the coaches or the locomotive or in the mangled mess.

Prasad told PTI that clearance of the tracks is also underway and that two coaches were taken away and the third coach is also being tackled presently, adding that train movement could be restored today.

He observed that traffic on the down line towards Kolkata could be restored before noon and on the up line towards Vijayawada by sometime in the afternoon. Further, Prasad said four OHE masts, railway electrical infrastructure, have been damaged at the accident site, spanning all the three lines, PTI stated.

East Coast Railway and South Central Railway have cancelled and diverted several trains.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for speedy recovery of those injured in the train accident. Ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh was also announced for the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy has also declared compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to be given to the kin of the deceased and Rs 2 lakh each to the injured from the state. In case of death of other states, Rs 2 lakh will be given to the kin of deceased and Rs 50,000 for those seriously injured.

The Union Minister of Railways, Ashwini Vaishnaw informed that the Ministry had begun disbursement of ex-gratia compensation where Rs 10 lakh is being given in case of death, Rs 2.5 lakh towards grievous injuries and Rs 50,000 for minor injuries.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday expressed sadness over the train accident in Andhra Pradesh and at the same time took a jibe at the BJP government in Centre stating, “all the claims of safety by the Union Govt, post Balasore train tragedy have evaporated in thin air.”

“The same enthusiasm of flagging trains with fanfare and propaganda should also be shown in action towards railway safety and the well-being of crores of daily passengers,” Kharge posted on X.

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