At least 10 passengers were killed and over 50 injured after nine bogies of the Bengaluru-Ernakulam Express derailed near Anekal on the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border early Friday.
The train left Bengaluru at 6.15am and derailed at 7.35am between Anekal Road and Hosur, about 45 km from the state capital, railway officials said.
India is home to one of the world’s largest rail networks that ferries over 23 million passengers daily but has a poor safety record with frequent derailments.
Rescuers cut open mangled coaches to pull out trapped passengers, eyewitnesses said. 18 people were critically injured and admitted to hospitals in nearby Hosur and Bengaluru.
Railway minister Suresh Prabhu said the train hit a boulder that had fallen on the track but later withdrew his statement after officials found no such object.
“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. This is the first accident after he took charge of the ministry.
.Watch:Bangalore-Ernakulam Express derails near Hosur
Railway board chairman AK Mittal and MK Budhalkoti, director general, health services, accompanied Prabhu to the site to ensure the rescue operation was conducted speedily. The minister later visited the injured in the hospital.
The probe will be conducted by SK Mittal, commissioner, railway safety. Prabhu also announced compensation of Rs. 2 lakh for the families of the deceased, Rs. 50,000 for those severely injured and Rs. 20,000 for those who suffered minor injuries.
PK Saxena, general manager, South Western Railway (SWR), said the commissioner of railway safety had visited the accident spot and was inquiring into the cause of the accident. He added that a thorough investigation would reveal the real cause of derailment. “It is difficult to explain what exactly caused the engine and the coaches to derail without proper investigation,” Saxena told reporters without referring to the boulder aspect.
The sudden accident affected movement of passenger and freight trains on the route throughout Friday.
(With agency inputs)
BSNL Nos: 080-22371166, 080-22156553, 080-22156554
Mobile Nos: 09731666751
At Accident site: 09448090599
Thiruvananthapuram 0471-2321205, 2321237, 09746769960 ,
Ernakulam junction 0484-2100317, 0813699773, 09539336040
Ernakulam town 0484-2398200
Thrissur 0487-2424148, 2430060,
( with PTI inputs)