Mathura train mishap kills 22

Mathura train mishap kills 22

Mathura train mishap kills 22

The collision occurred about eight km from Mathura  around 4:30 am after the driver of the Goa Express apparently ignored the signal.

The local people, who carried out the major part of the rescue operations, claimed that casualties could have been less had the police and the administration taken prompt action.

“They came at least two hours after the accident when there were reports that VIPs would be visiting the site. The residents extricated victims from the accident site, called  ambulances and sent the injured to hospital,” Anant Ram, a local resident, told Deccan Herald.

“It was still dark when we heard a loud thud and we thought that there must be a bomb explosion on the track,” said Sundari Devi, whose house is near the railway track.
A majority of the injured were admitted to Maheshwari Hospital and Maharshi Dayanand Hospital, which were near the accident site. A few victims were also later transferred to District Hospital in Mathura.

The engine of the Goa Express banged into the rear coach,  which was reserved for women and disabled passengers,  of the Mewar Express and got derailed due to the impact of the collision. The pantry car of the Goa Express was also damaged.
The guard of the Mewar Express and two staff members of the pantry car of the Goa Express were among those killed. Thirteen of the injured received grievous wounds. Five of the seriously injured were rushed to Delhi by train for treatment.

Twelve doctors reached from Delhi to treat the accident victims. About 150 Army personnel led by Brigadier Mahendra Kumar extricated bodies and also rescued passengers, who were stuck inside the mangled coaches. Gas and foam cutters were used to cut the doors and walls of the Coach number 5715.

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to families of each of the dead, Rs 1 lakh to those seriously injured and Rs 10,000 for those with minor injuries.  Railway officials said the driver of the Goa Express was either over speeding or “may have jumped the signal.”  Driver R K Chaturvedi and assistant driver Lakshmikant have been taken off duty. An inquiry by Commissioner of Railway Safety (North) has been ordered.

Mamata Banerjee, who visited  the site on Wednesday  evening, said the investigation would also cover whether there was any chain pulling by passengers.  "Prima facie the driver of the Goa Express disregarded the signal. Either he did not stop the train at the signal or did not proceed on a cautious speed," Deputy Regional Manager of Railways, Agra zone, R D Tripathi told reporters.

According to another version, the Mewat Express came to an abrupt halt as some policemen on board the train pulled the chain after a prisoner in their custody jumped from the running train and escaped.

The prisoner was being brought from Kota to Delhi for hearing in a case. 

Several trains were temporarily diverted after the accident. The track was cleared  around 2 pm for normal traffic with the help of a large number of railway workers. A heavy crane was used to remove the damaged and derailed coaches.  The Mewar Express, from which the damaged coach was later detached, left for Delhi with passengers five hours after the accident. Some of the passengers were also accommodated in buses.