Tragedy Unfolds Near Kothavalasa: Andhra Train Collision and Its Aftermath
A peaceful Sunday morning turned into a nightmare for hundreds of passengers who were traveling on two trains near Kothavalasa railway station in the Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh. However, this serene morning took a terrifying turn when a series of explosions and fires caused by the “Andhra Train Collision” of the two trains killed 14 people and injured 50 others, some of them severely.
According to the news, the accident was reportedly the result of the carelessness of the crew of the Visakhapatnam-Rayagada Passenger Special train. Consequently, this crew crashed into the back of the Visakhapatnam-Palasa Passenger Express. The accident happened at around 7 pm on Sunday when the Visakhapatnam-Rayagada Passenger Special train (08504) was on the same track as the Visakhapatnam-Palasa Passenger Express (08532) near Kothavalasa railway station. Unfortunately, the crew of the Visakhapatnam-Rayagada Passenger Special train did not notice the signal and applied brakes too late. As a result, they failed to prevent the collision with the rear end of the Visakhapatnam-Palasa Passenger Express.
Derailment and Fire: Andhra Train Collision
Following the collision, the situation escalated further. The collision led to the derailment of six coaches from the Visakhapatnam-Palasa Passenger Express and four coaches from the Visakhapatnam-Rayagada Passenger Special train. Consequently, the derailed coaches caught fire due to sparks and friction.
With the chaotic scene unfolding, passengers on both trains found themselves in a state of panic. In response to the crisis, some attempted to escape by jumping out of windows, while others forcibly opened doors. This, unfortunately, led to additional injuries from falls or flames.
In this dire situation, the community and railway staff sprang into action. Residents and railway staff rushed to the scene to rescue trapped passengers. They promptly alerted the police and fire brigade to the situation.
Collaborative Rescue Operation:
The response was coordinated among various agencies. This included the state police, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the National Security Guard (NSG), the Railway Protection Force (RPF), and local administrative teams. Various tools and equipment like cranes, cutters, and fire extinguishers were used to clear debris and combat the fire.
Afterward, the authorities swiftly transported injured passengers to nearby hospitals to receive the necessary medical treatment. At the same time, they dispatched the bodies of the deceased for post-mortem examinations to ascertain the precise cause of death.
Assistance for Stranded Passengers and Compensation:
Recognizing the need to provide support, railway authorities organized alternative transportation for passengers who were left stranded. Additionally, they also announced compensation for the victims and their families to assist them during this difficult time.
CM Asks PM, Railway Minister to Check All Rail Lines in India
Following the train accident, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to check all rail lines in the country. Following a visit to the Vizianagaram government general hospital, the Chief Minister requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to establish a high-level audit committee. This committee would thoroughly examine all aspects related not only to the line in question but also to all railway lines in the country. The request was made by Reddy in a post on X.
The Railway department reported that the three affected railway lines, which were disrupted due to a fatal train collision on the evening of October 29 in Andhra Pradesh, have been fully restored for operation. The accident resulted in multiple casualties and injuries, leading to the cancellation of 33 trains on Monday. According to officials from the East Coast Railway, 15 trains were diverted while seven others had partial cancellations.
In response to the incident, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy expressed shock and directed officials to provide an ex-gratia amount of Rs 10 lakh each to the families of the deceased and Rs 2 lakh each to those injured from the state. He also announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for those injured from other states, according to an official statement.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to discuss and assess the situation following the train derailment between Alamanda and Kantakapalle. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) shared on X that PM Modi had a conversation with Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw and received updates on the incident.
In addition, the Union Railway Ministry has announced ex-gratia compensation for the victims. Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw shared on ‘X’ that all injured individuals have been transferred to hospitals for treatment. He also stated that compensation disbursement has begun, with a sum of Rs 10 Lakh for death, Rs 2 Lakh for serious injuries, and Rs 50,000 for minor injuries.