By Newsgram Staff Writer
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.