VIZIANAGARAM: At least 10 people died and 25 were injured when a passenger train travelling from Visakhapatnam to Rayagada derailed after colliding with the Visakhapatnam-Palasa passenger train near Kothavalasa railway station in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh around 7pm on Sunday.
This was the third rail accident since June 2 when the Coromandel Express crashed into a stationary freight train in Odisha’s Balasore, leading to the loss of 296 lives and 1,200 suffered injuries.On October 11, five people died and 30 were injured when theDelhi-Kamakhya North East Express derailed in Bihar’s Buxar.
Sunday’s accident occurred when the Visakhapatnam-Palasa train was switching from the main track to a side track. Simultaneously, the Visakhapatnam-Rayagada train, travelling on the main track, rear-ended the other train, leading to the derailment of the last three coaches upon impact and damaging two severely. Vizianagaram SP Deepika Patil confirmed that “at least 10 persons were killed, and over 25 were seriously injured in the accident. Four coaches of the Rayagada passenger train were involved”. However, East Coast Railway’s Waltair division manager Saurabh Prasad said: “Three coaches were involved in the accident.”
As the coaches were “unreserved”, the details of the deceased passengers remain unknown. Officials fear that the toll may increase as some passengers may still be trapped inside the mangled coaches. Locals from nearby Kantakapalle village quickly initiated relief and rescue operations. They pulled out the trapped passengers and shifted the injured to hospitals.
However, the pitch-dark conditions hampered these efforts. Authorities deployed emergency lights to assist police, railway personnel and other officials in the rescue effort. NDRF and SDRF teams were mobilised and ambulances were dispatched from Anakapalli and Visakhapatnam to attend to the injured.
Some of the passengers were shifted to government hospital in Kothavalasa and KG Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The authorities formed special medical teams to treat the injured. The Vizianagaram SP said the toll may increase as some of the passengers are in critical condition.
PM Narendra Modi expressed condolences to the bereaved families and extended his prayers for the swift recovery of the injured. Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy instructed officials to provide relief and ensure prompt medical attention to the injured.
The AP government announced an ex gratia of Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of the deceased and Rs 2 lakh each to the injured natives of the state, and a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each to the injured passengers from other states. An inquiry into the accident has been ordered, as the exact cause remains unclear. According to preliminary information, the Visakhapatnam-Palasa train was moving slowly between Kantakapalle and Alamanda. The other train was also travelling on the same route.
As the dust settled, survivors recounted their harrowing experiences. Simhadri, a 30-year-old passenger on the Palasa train, described the jolting impact and the chaotic aftermath. He and others on board immediately participated in relief efforts and witnessed the extent of injuries among their fellow passengers. “I was jolted out of my seat. Other passengers too fell down,” he said, adding that he saw more than 50 people injured and crying in pain. The luggage was thrown all over.
Several trains were cancelled following the tragedy. The accident served as a reminder of the need for rail safety and preventive measures.Watch Andhra Pradesh: Three rear coaches damaged after two passenger trains collided in Vizianagaram, at least 10 injured

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