Mrunal Manmay Dash

The number of deaths in the tragic train accident on the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha border has risen to 13, informed Vizianagaram SP, Deepika on Monday.

Earlier, the Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of East-Coast Railway, Biswajit Sahu put the death toll at 11 while speaking to OTV. Similarly, the number of injured passengers has increased to 50.

Speaking to the reporters, Sahu said, “All the teams are at the spot. As the rescue operation is over and all the injured passengers sent to the hospital, we have started the track restoration work on a war footing. We are trying to make the track fit again for trains by 4 pm today.”

“We have deployed two Accident Relief Trains (ARTs) and a 40-tonne crane in the restoration operation. Only two coaches were derailed. Other coaches were stranded on the track. It will take some time to clean the track,” Sahu said.

As per the latest report, till now, 26 trains on the route have been cancelled, 22 trains diverted while 11 trains have been partially cancelled. Diverted trains will be put on a different route from Vijayawada. They will not move through Visakhapatnam.

As far as the stranded passengers are concerned, the Railway will ferry them by separate trains or buses.

Asked about the primary cause of the mishap, Sahu said, “Signal overshooting is the most probable cause behind the mishap. However, the reason for overshooting will be ascertained only after the due investigation.”

Visakhapatnam-Palasa Passenger train (08532) and Visakhapatnam-Rayagada Passenger Special train (08504) were involved in this mishap which occurred on Sunday evening between Alamanda and Kantakapalle in Vizianagaram-Kottavalasa Railway Section of Waltair Division of East Coast Railway Zone.

Following the mishap, one coach of Palasa passenger reportedly jumped onto the main line which was then hit by a goods train coming on the same line.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh from the PMNRF for the next of kin of each deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured.

Apart from that, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced ex-gratia compensation of Rs 10 Lakh in case of death, Rs 2 Lakh for grievously injured and Rs 50,000 for minor injuries.

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