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Andhra Pradesh train accident: Death toll on the rise, CM Jagan Mohan Reddy to visit mishap site

Andhra Pradesh train accident: Death toll on the rise, CM Jagan Mohan Reddy to visit mishap site

The number of casualties in the train accident on the Howrah-Chennai line in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh rose to 14, Vizianagaram Joint Collector Mayur Ashok said on Monday, while the number of injured stood at 50.

"The number of dead rose by one to 14, of which 13 died at the accident site itself and one while undergoing treatment," Ashok said.

Superintendent of Police M Deepika said 50 people were injured.

A senior Railway official said the injured had been shifted to hospitals in Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram.

The guard of the Palasa Passenger M S Rao (58) died in the accident, along with the loco pilot, S M S Rao (52), and his assistant, Chiranjeevi (29), of the Rayagada Passenger train.

Waltair Divisional Railway Manager Saurabh Prasad of the East Coast Railway Zone (ECR) confirmed the death of the guard.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy will be visiting the accident site and also those injured and undergoing treatment in Vizianagaram, official sources said.

Officials of the East Coast Railway (ECR) said at around 7 pm on Sunday, the Palasa Passenger train hit the Rayagada Passenger train from behind at Kantakapalli, about 40 km from here, causing three coaches to derail.

Prasad reportedly said that all the affected coaches have been looked into and the locomotive was being lifted to see for a final

round of checking by the NDRF if any bodies are still trapped inside the coaches or the locomotive or in the mangled mess.

Five coaches plus the locomotive got mangled. Three coaches were of the train which was ahead (Palasa Passenger) and two coaches and the engine were of the Rayagada passenger, the DRM said.

He noted the clearance of tracks is also underway. As part of the clearance work, Prasad said two coaches were taken away and the third coach is also being tackled presently, adding that train movement could be restored today.

He observed traffic on the down line towards Kolkata could be restored before noon and on the line towards Vijayawada sometime in the afternoon.

Further, Prasad said four OHE masts, railway electrical infrastructure, have been damaged at the accident site, spanning all the three lines.

Following the accident, several trains have either been cancelled or diverted or rescheduled by East Coast Railway and South Central Railway.

Biswajit Sahu, CPRO, East Coast Railway, said "14 passengers have died. This includes a loco pilot and a guard. About 50 people were injured out of which 29 are still in hospital. Rest had minor injuries and they have been discharged. Restoration work is going on and by this evening, hopefully, tracks will be clear to resume operation."

He further said that the Rayagada Passenger had overshot the signal.

Expressing shock over the incident, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy also instructed officials to pay an ex-gratia amount of Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of the deceased and Rs 2 lakh each to the injured from the state.

He also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each for the injured from other states, according to an official release. The ECR has set up helplines.

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