Hyderabad/Bengaluru : the railways have cancelled a couple of trains and diverted 15 others due to the derailment of the Bengaluru City-Nanded Express after a truck collided with it in Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur district early Monday.
The accident, which took place between Rangepalli and Penukonda stations, occurred when a truck rammed into the train at a level crossing, killing five people and injuring 20 others.
Train No. 57438 Hindupur-Guntakal passenger and train No. 56503 Bangalore Cantonment-Vijayawada passenger were cancelled.
According to a statement from South Central Railway, the diverted trains include Mysore-Shirdi Sainagar Express, Tuticorin-Okha Express, Bagalkot-Mysore Basava Express, Secunderabad-Yesvantpur Garibrath Express, Bhubaneswar-Bangalore Prasanthi Express, Korba-Yesvantpur, Mumbai CSTM-Nagercoil Express, Kacheguda-Yesvantpur Express, New Delhi-Bangalore Karnataka Express, Kacheguda-Bangalore Express, Mumbai-Bengaluru Udyan Express, Solapur-Yesvantpur Express and Bidar-Yesvantpur Express.
“As the mishap derailed four coaches of the Bengaluru-Nanded express, disrupting traffic, we have diverted trains to other routes to minimise delay and ensure safe movement,” a South Western Railway official told IANS.
“As rescue and relief operations and track restoration work is underway at the mishap spot, normalcy will be ensured by evening or night,” the official said.
Meanwhile, the zonal railway blamed the truck driver, who hit the running train at high speed after crashing into the closed level crossing gate between Rangepalli and Penukonda stations of Bengaluru division, for the mishap.
“The impact was such that the granite-laden truck ripped through the AC first-class coach (H1) and derailed it along with three vestibule coaches, including one AC threetier (B1) and two second-class sleepers,” said the official.
The zonal railway also claimed that the red flasher signalling danger was on and the siren was sounded continuously to warn road users.
“The loaded lorry approached the level crossing gate at high speed, broke the boom gate and hit the H1 coach of the running train. The driver did not pay heed to any safety warnings, resulting in the collision and derailment of four coaches,” the railway said in a statement.
Among the victims were a ruling Congress lawmaker from Karnataka, a coach attendant, two unidentified fellow passengers, the truck driver and cleaner.
The legislator (A.Venkatesh Naik) from Devadurga assembly segment in Raichur district of the state’s northern region was returning to his native place after attending a wedding function in Bengaluru.
In a related development, state chief minister Siddaramaiah mourned the death of Naik due to the train mishap.
The zonal railway has ordered an inquiry by its safety commission.