At least 13 dead, around 50 injured as 2 passenger trains collide in Andhra Pradesh
The country's railway ministry said preliminary investigation suggested that the crash was a result of "human error"
The number of casualties in the train accident on the Howrah-Chennai line in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh rose to 13 while 50 people were injured, Superintendent of Police M Deepika said on Monday.
An incoming train slammed into a stationary train, derailing at least three rail cars, senior railway officer Saurab Prasad told Associated Press news agency.
Officials of the East Coast Railway (ECR) said that at around 7 pm on Sunday, the Palasa passenger train hit the Rayagada passenger train from behind at Kantakapalli, about 40 Km from here, causing three coaches to derail.
Biswajit Sahu, Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of the ECR, last night said at least nine people were killed in the incident.
However, according to the police the death toll on Monday morning rose to 13.
A preliminary investigation found that "human error" caused by "overshooting of signal" had led to the collision, the Indian Railway Ministry said.
A senior railway official has said the injured were being shifted to hospitals in Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram. The ECR has set up helplines.
Expressing shock over the incident, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy also instructed officials to pay an ex-gratia amount of Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of the deceased and Rs 2 lakh each to the injured from the state. He also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each for the injured from other states, according to an official release.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on X that he had spoken with the federal railway minister. He sent "condolences to the bereaved families and prays that the injured recover soon."
Modi announced financial compensation for families of those who died in the accident to the tune of 200,000 rupees.
Train crashes are common in India and are often blamed on human error or outdated signaling equipment.
In June, an error in the electronic signaling system led a train to wrongly change tracks and crash into a freight train in the eastern Odisha state.
The accident killed more than 280 people and was one of the country's deadliest crashes in decades.
More than 12 million people ride 14,000 trains across India every day, traveling on 64,000 kilometers of track.
Published: 30 Oct 2023, 8:50 AM