People in Uttar Pradesh woke up to two accidents involving four important trains near Etawah early on Sunday morning.
In the first accident, Delhi-Sitamhari (Bihar) Lichhwi Express hit a stationary Delhi-Islampur (Bihar) Magadh Express from behind. Efforts were on rescue the driver of Lichhwi Express, trapped in the locomotive at Sarai Bhuapt station, 250 km southwest of Lucknow.
There was no report of casualties. On getting information, senior officials along with a relief train reached the spot. The two helpline numbers are 05122303015, 05122323016.
The second accident, reported barely forty-five minutes later, turned out to the bigger one. Near Panki, some 90 km southwest of Lucknow, in Kanpur, Gorakhdham Express hit Pryagraj Express from behind. The last compartment of Prayagraj Express was badly smashed and the locomotive of Gorakhdam Express derailed due to the impact.
After the second accident took place, no official even confirmed it for quite sometime. Officials were under the impression there was just one collision – that of between Magadh Express and Lichhivi Express.
Both accidents were caused by foggy conditions. “Visibility at both the sites was around 30 meters (100 feet) due to dense fog,” said a railway official.
Though there was no official word on it, more than three dozen passengers, mostly on Prayagraj Express, were injured in the second collision. A passenger on Prayagraj Express, Pankaj, said, “Our train was standing at the outer when it was hit from behind. There was a huge thud. We straightaway knew there was something very serious.” “We were in an AC coach. Everything went awry. There was no relief from the railways. Passengers themselves, with help from locals, were taking the injured to hospital. Later two ambulances of the sate government reached the spot.”
UP’s ADG (Railway) AK Jain said, “In the first accident, SSP Etawah with officials of GRP and RPF have reached the spot. Efforts were being made to rescue the driver. Gas cutter is being used. There are no casualties there. Rail traffic will soon be restored there.”
About the second mishap, the ADG said, “DIG Kanpur (Nagar) and GRP officials are already there. Three coaches have derailed. Initial reports suggest death of one person. There are injuries to a few people. Once gas cutter reaches there, we will see if people are trapped inside coaches.”