At least 13 individuals lost their lives, and approximately 50 sustained injuries following a collision between two passenger trains in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, India, on Sunday.
Following the collision, an extensive rescue operation was initiated, mobilizing hundreds of emergency responders to the site for clearing the wreckage.
Preliminary findings by officials indicate that the collision resulted from ‘human error.’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his condolences and stated that he remained in contact with the railways minister regarding the incident.
The tragic crash occurred in the Vizianagaram district on Sunday evening.
According to officials, three carriages of a passenger train en route from Visakhapatnam to Palasa derailed around 19:00 (13:30 GMT) after it came to a stop on the tracks due to an overhead cable break.
A subsequent incoming passenger train traveling from Visakhapatnam to Rayagada collided with the stationary train from behind, as reported by a railway official to the Reuters news agency.
Upon the collision, a substantial deployment of ambulances, medical professionals, and rescue teams swiftly arrived at the scene to aid passengers and manage the retrieval of bodies.
Biswajit Sahu, Chief Public Relations Officer of East Coast Railway, attributed the collision to ‘human error,’ citing the ‘overshooting of a signal’ by the second train.
As a result of the accident, 33 trains have been canceled, and 22 others have been redirected. Railway authorities anticipate the affected track to be cleared for traffic resumption by Monday evening.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s office in Andhra Pradesh announced his scheduled visit to the accident site on Monday. The minister has also pledged financial compensation for the victims.
India boasts one of the world’s largest train networks, serving millions of passengers daily, yet much of the railway infrastructure requires enhancements.
The incident on Sunday occurred mere months after a tragic collision involving three trains claimed the lives of 292 individuals and injured thousands in Odisha, located in the eastern part of the country.
In connection with the railway disaster, the nation’s premier investigative agency has arrested three railway employees. The prior incident marked the deadliest in 20 years.