At least 14 people were killed and 50 injured after two passenger trains collided in Andhra Pradesh’s Vizianagaram district on Sunday, PTI reported.
The accident occurred at around 7 pm between Kantakapalle and Alamanda railway stations when the Rayagada passenger train hit the Palasa passenger train from behind, derailing three coaches.
According to the East Coast Railway, human error could be the cause of the tragedy, with the Rayagada-bound train having likely jumped the signal.
The collision disrupted services on the Chennai-Howrah routes, with several trains either being cancelled or diverted, reported The Indian Express.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that all those injured have been shifted to hospitals. “Ex-gratia compensation disbursement started – Rs 10 Lakh in case of death, Rs 2 lakh towards grievous and Rs 50,000 for minor injuries,” he said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Vaishnaw added that 11 front coaches of the Palasa passenger train had reached Alamanda station. Nine rear coaches of the Rayagada passenger train were pulled back to Kantakapalle, which is the previous station.
The prime minister’s office also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the families of each of the victims. Those injured will get Rs 50,000.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy instructed officials to pay an ex-gratia amount of Rs 10 lakh each to the relatives of the deceased and Rs 2 lakh each to the injured who hailed from the state.
The chief minister also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the family members of those who died and Rs 50,000 each for the injured from other states.
Soon after the accident, he had told officials to send as many ambulances as possible to Vizianagaram from the nearby districts of Visakhapatnam and Anakapalli. He directed the authorities to ensure that those injured received prompt medical care.
Sunday’s incident comes after a triple train collision in Odisha’s Balasore on June 2 claimed at least 293 lives. The accident occurred because the Howrah-Chennai Coromandel Express was mistakenly diverted to a line near the Bahanaga Bazar railway station where a goods train was parked – when the signalling system ought to have guided it to a line cleared of all train traffic.