Over 100 killed in Andhra train mishap
The Secunderabad-bound Delta Fast passenger derailed in Nalgonda district on Saturday with seven of its coaches plunging off a bridge into a rivulet.india Updated: Oct 30, 2005 18:47 IST
Over 100 people were killed when Secunderabad-bound Delta Fast passenger train derailed with seven of its coaches plunging off a bridge into a rain-swollen rivulet at Valugodu, some 80 kms from Hyderabad, in the wee hours on Saturday.
"While over 100 bodies have been recovered from the site, 20 to 30 passengers are feared to have been washed away in the swirling rivulet," Andhra Pradesh Home Minister K Jana Reddy told reporters.
The engine and first seven bogies of the Repalli-Secunderabad train fell into the rivulet at 4:30 am due to breaches on the track caused by gushing waters of four overflowing reservoirs following incessant rains in the region in the last two days.
"Just 20 minutes before the mishap, Narsapur Express passed through the same track which shows that flash floods were the cause of the mishap," Reddy said.
Nearly 250 Army and paramilitary personnel along with locals were involved in rescue operations which are likely to stretch for another 24 hours due to heavy rains and breaches on roads.
Most of the passengers were asleep at the time of the derailment.
The scene presented a picture of chaos, confusion and devastation. Extricated bodies were lifted by helicopters and brought to the ground.
A number of bodies were also fished out by personnel of the armed forces and villagers who reached the site in large numbers.
One of the coaches was hanging in mid-air and efforts were on to salvage it. Special heavy-duty cranes were deployed to extricate the bogies.
Over 200 people injured in the accident were given first-aid at Valigonda hospital, some two kms from the mishap site.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajsekhar Reddy and Minister of State for Railways L Velu visited the site and announced ex gratia of Rs one lakh to each bereaved family.
Employment to one member each of the families which had lost their bread winners would be given in Railways, officials said.
Two special trains to carry relatives of passengers to the accident site had been arranged from Secunderabad and Guntur stations, a Railway spokesman said.