Samaleshwari Express meets with accident in Rayagada; 3 railway staff dead

Rayagada: In a major train accident, the engine of Samaleshwari Express caught fire between Singapur Road and Kutaguda in Rayagada district today. The incident occurred after the Howrah-Jagadalpur Samaleshwari Express hit a tower car engaged in some work on the railway track.

At least three railway staff reportedly died in the mishap. The deceased have been identified as Sagar, senior section engineer (electrical) Rayagada, technician Gouri Naidu and Suresh, technician of the maintenance tower car.

The front guard-cum-luggage van and one general second class coach of Samaleshwari Express got derailed following the mishap.

 


The incident occurred at around 4:30 PM today. The incident has raised question on coordination between the railway officials as how signal was given to Samaleshwari Express when already the tower car was engaged in some work on the same track.

Commenting on the mishap, said Rayagada Collector, Pramod Kumar Behera said, “As per preliminary reports, the mishap occurred after the Rayagada station gave clearance to the train. So far, we have recovered one body and there could be two to three more bodies inside. We can say about the exact number of casualties after the fire is brought under control.”


Senior officials of East Coast Railway (ECoR) informed that Samaleshwari Train and its passengers have not been affected by the fire as only the engine got affected.

Following the incident, teams of Odisha Fire Services Department and ambulances  reached the spot.

The Railways officials informed that three railway staff including S. Topo (Keutaguda Station), Jai Prasad (Singapur Road A-Cabin) and B Pradhan ( Singapur Road Station) have been placed under suspension for dereliction of duty.

East Coast Railway (ECoR) officials informed that 148 passengers were  in the Samaleshwari Express and two buses have been arranged for their transportation.

Meanwhile, the Railways ordered a probe into the mishap by Commissioner of Railway Safety, Kolkata, an independent statutory authority under the Civil Aviation ministry.

Expressing grief over the death of railway officials, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan tweeted, “Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal is personally monitoring the rescue operations undertaken by the Indian Railways. Saddened at the untimely death of railway officials in their line of duty due to the unfortunate accident.”


East Coast Railway (ECoR) later announced for the diversion and partially cancellation of some trains in view of the mishap.