Ranchi Rajdhani Express derails near New Delhi station, 3 accidents in one day
On a day that saw three train derailments, seven coaches of Jabalpur-bound Shaktipunj Express jumped the track near Obra Dam station in Sonbhadra district and two coaches of a goods train derailed in Maharashtra, besides the Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express.Updated: Sep 07, 2017 18:24 IST
Passengers on board the Ranchi-New Delhi Rajdhani Express had a narrow escape on Thursday after the train got derailed barely 200 metres away from the New Delhi station.
Railway officials said that there were no reports of any injuries or casualties as the train had slowed down to less than 10km per hour before entering the station. None of the compartments were affected as only the engine, luggage brake and generator car were went off the track.
It was the third train accident on Thursday. Earlier in the day seven coaches of the Howrah-Jabalpur Shaktipunj Express derailed near Sonbhadra in Uttar Pradesh and two coaches of a goods train derailed near Khandala, Maharashtra, news agency ANI reported. No one was hurt.
Derailed engine of Ranchi Rajdhani. Efforts on to put it in track. pic.twitter.com/eQmB0Bcfhf— Vishal Kant (@VishKant) September 7, 2017
With questions being raised over track maintenance, railway minister Piyush Goyal chaired a high-level meeting on safety in train operations with the railway board officials.
In Delhi, those involved in rescue operation said a crack on the rail track could have triggered the accident. Senior railway officials, however, brushed aside the allegations claiming that only a proper investigation could ascertain the cause.
“Portions of the track have been found broken, but we have to investigate whether it was already damaged or they broke after the accident as a result of the impact,” said Anshul Gupta, Divisional Railway Manager (Delhi), who was personally monitoring the rescue operation.
Railway sources said that the accident occurred around 11.35am when the train had just left the Shivaji Bridge station and was moving towards the New Delhi station.
“We could hardly feel the jolt. The train was moving very slowly and stopped suddenly. We thought it was because of some signal. But then we came to know that the train’s engine, luggage brake and generator car have got derailed,” said Preetam Kumar a passenger of B2 compartment.
Railway officials, however, rushed a rescue train, medical teams and NDRF personnel to the spot. The railway teams off boarded all the passengers and extended them help in reaching the New Delhi station.
The driver and attendant were taken for a health check up. Officials said tests would also be conducted to ascertain if they were in inebriated.
Other inspections to find out the condition of railway tracks, the speed of the train and condition of the engine were also to be carried out to find out how the accident occurred.
The accident hampered train operations as two tracks, which catered to trains from platform number 9 to 16 were hit. All operations were regulated from the other two tracks which cater to the other eight platforms.
While a few trains approaching New Delhi had to be terminated before, few others leaving the capital were diverted via Old Delhi station.
“We were on the intercity express. We had to get down and walk along the tracks to reach Shivaji Bridge station,” said Rajesh Srivastava a resident of Lakhimpur in UP.