At least 32 people were killed and over 50 injured on Saturday night when seven coaches of a passenger train derailed in Andhra Pradesh, the latest disaster to hit the vast and accident-prone state railways, police said.
The Hirakhand Express train from Jagdalpur to Bhubaneswar derailed near Kuneri station, around 30 km outside the town of Raigarh.
Public relations officer of the east coast railway JP Mishra said that seven coaches including the luggage van, two general coaches, two sleeper coaches, one AC three-tier coach, one AC two-tier coach and the engine went off the tracks around midnight on Saturday.
“Four accident relief vans have been sent to the accident site. The reason behind the incident is yet to be determined,” Mishra said.
Rescue workers were trying to cut open the mangled coaches Sunday morning near the Koneru railway station in the Vizianagram district of Andhra Pradesh state.
Railways spokesperson Anil Saxena on Sunday said that any unusual activity or tampering with the railway tracks leading to the train’s derailment will be investigated. A unit of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has also been sent to the spot for rescue operations, he added.
A PTI report quotes sources saying, “There is a strong indication of tampering with the track as the area is known to be a Naxal-prone zone and as Republic Day is approaching. Foul play cannot be ruled out.”
Indian Railways spokesperson Anil Saxena on Sunday said, that any unusual activity or tampering with the railway tracks leading to the derailment of the Hirakhand Express, will be investigated, and also informed that a unit of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been sent on the spot for rescue operation.