In a tragic incident on the Howrah-Chennai rail line in Andhra Pradesh, a passenger train overshot a signal, leading to a collision with another train, resulting in 13 casualties and 50 injuries. The accident occurred on a special passenger train traveling from Visakhapatnam to Palasa, which had come to a halt between Alamanda and Kantakapalle near Kothsavatsala due to a signal issue. It was then that the Vizag-Raigad passenger train collided with it, causing three coaches to derail.
The accident is a grim reminder of the consequences of human error in railway operations, echoing a similar incident in Odisha that claimed over 280 lives earlier this year.
— Disaster Tracker (@DisasterTrackHQ) October 30, 2023
Details of the Accident
The tragic incident unfolded as one of the train drivers failed to adhere to a red signal, leading to a collision between the Palasa passenger train and the Rayagada passenger train near Kantakapalli, approximately 40 kilometers from Visakhapatnam. Regrettably, the driver of the Rayagada train also lost his life in the accident.
Railway sources have confirmed that the root cause of the accident was a critical lapse in following safety protocols, as the signaling system went unnoticed by the locomotive pilot.
As authorities launch an investigation into the incident, it is crucial to determine the exact sequence of events and factors contributing to this tragic mishap. Biswajit Sahu, Chief Public Relations Officer at East Coast Railways, stated, “Investigation is still ongoing, and the picture will be clearer only after that.”
Relief and rescue operations on the accident site are anticipated to be concluded by the evening. In the wake of this unfortunate event, 18 trains have been canceled, and 22 others have been diverted to manage the disruption in rail services.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his deep condolences to the affected families and announced financial assistance. He pledged ₹2 lakh for the families of the deceased and ₹50,000 for those who sustained injuries in the accident. The Prime Minister’s office issued a statement, saying, “Authorities are providing all possible assistance to those affected. The Prime Minister extends condolences to the bereaved families and prays that the injured recover soon.”
This incident serves as a stark reminder of the significance of safety measures and adherence to signaling protocols in the operation of the world’s largest rail network in India. It comes just months after a devastating accident in Odisha that involved three trains and resulted in a tragic loss of lives. As the investigation progresses, questions surrounding safety procedures and the prevention of such incidents in the future are likely to be at the forefront of discussions.