Jadgadalpur-Hirakhand Express Derailed in Odisha, 40 Killed & 50 InjuredJanuary 23, 2017 09:26
In a tragic accident, at least 40 people have been killed and around 50 were injured, when the Bhubaneswar-bound Jadgadalpur-Hirakhand Express derailed around 11.15 pm on Saturday at Koneru in Andhra Pradesh, 24 km from Odisha.
A total of seven coaches which included a luggage van, two general compartments, two sleeper coaches, one AC three-tier coach and one AC two-tier coach and the engine went off the track and crashed into a stationary goods train on the next track.
"The reason behind the accident was yet to be ascertained", East Coast Railway chief public relations officer J.P. Mishra said on Sunday.
“There are indications of foul play as a goods train passed the same track just two hours before the accident. The inspection by the patrol team also found the track okay yesterday (Saturday),” Railway spokesperson Anil Saxena said.
“The driver applied emergency brakes after feeling a big jerk and heard a loud sound. The area is Naxal-prone and the incident happened just ahead of Republic Day," he added.
Passengers who survived in the mishap said that "it was a horrific experience when the train in which they were travelling jumped off the track near Kuneru in Andhra Pradesh."
“It was horrific and frightening. I was among the lucky ones to have escaped narrowly after the mishap that struck late last night,” said Ranjan Mohanty, Baripada College principal.
Another passenger named Mohanty was returning in the Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express train after attending a wedding ceremony of a relative. He said that "I was sleeping and woke up with a sudden jerk and deafening sound to find himself on the floor. I escaped with minor injuries and fractures."
He added that "the adjacent S-9 coach was one of the worst affected. I was among the survivors who were sent by a special train to Bhubaneswar via Sambalpur from where he would proceed to Baripada."
BY M. DIVYA SRI