A train rammed into another train from behind on tuesday morning killing one person and injuring five near Ghaziabad. One of the trains was stationary and waiting for a green signal, when the other one came in full speed and rammed into it.
The driver, assistant driver and the guard of the colliding train were suspended later in the evening for “dereliction of duty”. Top railway officials admitted the possibility of human error and have announced an independent probe starting Thursday.
At 6.15 am, the Delhi-bound 4723 UP, Kalindi Express, which had crossed a rail bridge after the Sahibabad station, was halted waiting for a green signal. Padmawat Express, 4207 UP, which was also Delhi-bound, collided with the last bogey of Kalindi Express. The bogey was a parcel van with a few passengers in it. It was derailed by the impact.
Mohammad Rafiq (55), a resident of Etah in UP, died on the spot. His head was smashed against the window. Five persons were seriously injured.
The Commissioner of Railway Safety, Northern Circle, will probe the matter beginning Thursday. The Northern Railways termed the incident as “a rare kind of accident”.
Trains run one after the other on the same track coordinated by automated signalling system but a collision of this nature, sources said, occurs when the driver is at fault. “We don’t recall an incident like this before this,” said Rajiv Saxena, Northern Railway spokesperson.
Hearing the roar of the collision and subsequent pandemonium, people from nearby Kadka village rushed to the spot for a quick rescue job but except for the derailed parcel van and the engine of the colliding train, there was no damage.
According to railway records, an emergency medical train arrived at the spot and transferred the injured to the nearby hospitals in Ghaziabad and East Delhi. “By 7.55 am, both the trains were cleared for Delhi and traffic restored by 10 am,” Saxena said.
In a few hours, Northern Railways brass — general manager, additional general manager and divisional railway manager, Delhi, — arrived at the spot to check rescue and restoration work.
“Prima facie it appears that the accident was either caused by the driver’s negligence or a fault in the air-brake system of the train. The engine records will be examined to assess the exact reasons by an enquiry-team,” said V.K. Jaiswal, Additional GM, Northern Railways.
Northern Railways paid an ex gratia amount of Rs 15,000 to the next of kin of the deceased. Dinesh, one of the injured, was paid Rs 500 for immediate expenses.
A case has been registered against the unknown railway employee under section 279, 304A, under the Railways Act.