June 23, 2003: 51 killed, many hurt in 'rare' Konkan railway mishap in Maharashtra
Fifty one people, including three children, were killed and several injured when the first three coaches and engine of the Karwar-Mumbai Central (904 up) holiday special train derailed after crossing Vaibhavwadi station in Sindhudurg district in Maharashtra.
The accident occurred at 10.30 p.m. on Sunday when the train, headed for Rajapur station, was approaching the Nerle tunnel. The engine hit boulders and debris that had fallen on the track in a landslide caused by the recent heavy rains.
Officials said 15 of the injured were in a critical condition and being treated at government hospitals in Kankavali and Oras in Sindudurg district.
A spokesman for the Konkan Railway Corporation Limited said the derailed coaches include two general-class coaches and one A/C three tier coach.
Four doctors and 12 engineers were rushed to the spot for initial rescue operations. "The injured had to be pulled out through the rear exit of the train," the spokesman said. The stranded passengers were brought back to Mumbai on state transport buses.
The accident has disrupted other trains on the Konkan Railway route — those on the Mumbai-Goa section are not plying at all. Twelve trains have been cancelled, while four have been diverted through Andhra Pradesh.