Madurai: At least 35 people were injured when Chennai-Mangalore Express train derailed in Tamil Nadu. The three coaches of the train derailed around 2 A.M. on Friday near Puvanur station that is located a few kilometers away from Vriddhachalam.
The Railway officials and the fire and rescue personnel reached the spot and rescued all passengers and admitted the injured to Government Hospital in Vriddhachalam, according to Economic Times report.
According to a statement by Madurai Railway Division, all the trains from south Tamil Nadu that were going towards Chennai have been diverted to go via Thanjavur and Kumbakonam.
Shimla: On Saturday, after a charted toy train carrying a group of 37 foreigners derailed on the Kalka-Shimla railway line, all traffic was suspended on the railroad. However, now the train services have been resumed.
For lessening the possibility of such accidents in future, the speed of the trains on this section has been reduced.
As the train derailed near Kalka in Haryana, the traffic on the world heritage rail line was majorly disrupted on Saturday. Inspector General of Police (Railway) Zahur Zaidi informed over phone that two Britons, identified as women named Loraine Toner and Joan Nickolas, both aged 60, were killed and seven injured in this accident.
The injured were admitted to Max Super Specialty Hospital in Punjab’s Mohali town near Chandigarh, some 30 km from the accident spot.
One of the survivors told police that over-speeding at a curve was the cause of the accident.
“Traffic on the Kalka-Shimla track was restored last night (Saturday). As a precaution, the speed of the trains on this section has been reduced. So the to-and-fro trains between Kalka and Shimla will take more than one-and-half hours to cover the distance,” an official at the Shimla railway station told IANS.
He further added that all trains plying between Kalka in Haryana and the Himachal Pradesh capital are running on schedule.
Five trains run to and from daily on the world heritage Kalka-Shimla rail line. Normally a train takes five hours to complete the journey between Kalka and Shimla.
The Kalka-Shimla rail track was built by the British in 1903 to ferry Europeans to and from this hill town, the erstwhile summer capital of British India. It was chosen by UNESCO as a world heritage site in 2008.
Parwanoo (Himachal Pradesh): Two coaches of a chartered Kalka-Shimla toy train hired by a group of 37 foreigners derailed, killing two Britons and injuring seven, near this Himachal Pradesh town, a police officer said.
The deceased were identified as two women, Loraine Toner and Joan Nickolas, both 60, Inspector General of Police (Railway) Zahoor Zaidi said. The injured were admitted to the PGI hospital in Chandigarh, 30 km from the accident spot.
One of the survivors cited over-speeding at a curve as the cause of the accident.
Northern Railway chief public relations officer Neeraj Sharma told reporters in New Delhi that the train was booked by a group of foreigners mainly from Britain. There were 37 passengers on board at the time of the accident, he added.
Police said the train with four engines left Kalka in Haryana at 12.40 pm and went off the tracks just after three kilometers at Taksal.
The traffic on the 96 km long and a century-old narrow gauge world heritage railroad remained suspended and is likely to be restored by Sunday.
The chartered trains on this rail section are handled by the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation, a wing of Indian Railways.
“The reason behind the incident is yet to be ascertained. It might be a problem in the track or in the coach. There is a possibility that an animal suddenly came on the track or rocks falling on the track,” said Sharma.
The Kalka-Shimla rail track was built by the British in 1903 to ferry Europeans to and from this hill town, the erstwhile summer capital of British India. It was chosen by Unesco as a world heritage site in 2008.
The rail route also features in the Guinness Book of World Records for offering the steepest rise in altitude in a space of 96 km. More than two-thirds of the track is curved, sometimes at angles as sharp as 48 degrees.
The glorious journey along the rail line from 640 metres above sea level at Kalka to the lofty heights of Shimla at 2,060 metres takes one’s breath away, as the train meanders through deep ravines, a verdant forest of pine, deodar, oak and maple, and the magnificent scenery of the Shivalik hills.
Five trains run normally between Kalka and Shimla every day. Each ‘toy train’ — the popular name for it — has about seven coaches and can accommodate nearly 200 passengers.
The last derailment on the Kalka-Shimla rail route occurred in December 2008 when one person was killed and three people injured. It went off the track at Sanawar in Himachal Pradesh after completing two hours of the journey.
From amongst those injured, ten Britons have been discharged from the hospital, while three –Diane Logan, George Bertram and Andrew Summerhayes– remain admitted, an official said.
Sumeet Arya, head, emergency, of the hospital, said George has a laceration on the scalp which has been sutured and a soft tissue injury on the right arm, while Diana had an avulsion of the scalp which has been sutured by the plastic surgeon. She also has facial injuries, he added.
Bengaluru: Nine coaches of a speeding Mumbai-bound Duronto express from Secunderabad in Telangana derailed near Kalaburgi in north Karnataka, killing two women passengers and injuring eight other people, an official said.
Speaking from the mishap spot at about 630 km from Bengaluru, Central Railway Solapur division’s Additional Manager K Madhusudan quoted: “The incident occurred after the train passed Martur station between Wadi and Kalaburgi at 2:42 am.”
The Pune-bound victims who had been travelling from Secunderabad have been identified as Jyothi Shankar, 46, and Pushpalatha Harish, 26.
The fully air-conditioned, non-stop superfast express Duronto was passing through at a 110 km speed when the derailment took place in the dark.
“Though the first seven coaches from engine passed safely, the following nine coaches, including a pantry car (HA1, A1, A2, A3, B6, B7, B8, B9) derailed and the remaining four coaches in the rear were stranded on track,” Madhusudan said.
Prior to the express train, a Hyderabad-Mumbai express passed safely through the same mishap spot though the area has been witnessing heavy rains over the last couple of days.
“The cause of derailment is not known yet. An inquiry by the commissioner of railway safety has been ordered. A portion of track, which gave way, has been repaired to restore traffic on the high density route,” Madhusudan said.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said the derailment was “saddening” and that an enquiry has been ordered into the accident.
“Saddened by Duronto accident. Ordered enquiry. Immediate medical relief and other assistance rushed. Chairman of the railway board has been asked to rush to the spot,” Prabhu tweeted.
“All the injured being rushed to hospitals. We will give ex-gratia to the injured, unfortunate families of the dead,” he added.
Of the injured, a Indian Navy cadet (Abdul Ashraf Gaffar, 21) lost a leg while other seven were identified as Manik Reddy, 62, Yadamma Reddy, 55, Srikant Kashinath, 24, Ramakrishna Subba Reddy, 40, Rajeeev Ramachandra, 30, Lakshmi, 50, and Bhaskar B Narasing, 45.
Coach B8 which housed the victims and injured was the worst affected. They were part of a 22-member group of employees from Rajdeep Associates in Secunderabad, proceeding to Lonawala in Maharashtra on a three-day vacation. Preliminary investigation by police ruled out sabotage.
Most passengers were in a daze and were unable to explain how the coaches derailed as they were asleep.
“The stranded passengers have been rescued and put in a special train to Mumbai, while the injured were admitted to a district hospital at Kalaburgi,” Madhusudan said.
Efforts are on to restore the track and resume Movement of trains, which came to a halt since 3 am,
Efforts are on to restore the track and resume train movement after the standstill since 3 am affecting thousands of passengers on the busy Mumbai-Hyderabad, Mumbai-Chennai, and Mumbai-Bengaluru double track.