Fog wreaks havoc up North

10 killed in three train mishaps; flights, power supply disrupted

Fog wreaks havoc up North

Rescue work in progress near a damaged coach after Gorakhdham Express hit the stationary Prayagraj Express in dense fog at Panki Railway Station in Kanpur on Saturday morning. PTI

Three persons were killed in road accidents in Delhi where visibility was poor for a greater part of the day.

A cold wave sweeping northern India for some days intensified with Amritsar and nearby places recording minus 1.2 degrees Celsius on Saturday morning.

The fog is expected to continue as the dry, cold spell will prevail till next week.

Poor visibility caused the three accidents involving five passenger trains in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur, Etawah and Allahabad districts.

In the Kanpur accident, 10 people were killed and 38 were injured when the Gorakhdham Express collided with the stationary Prayagraj Express near Panki railway station.
Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, who was travelling on the Prayagraj Express , was reported to be “safe and unhurt”.

The condition of 15 of the injured was stated to be critical, UP additional director general of police Brijlal told reporters in Lucknow.

In the Etawah accident, the driver of Lichchavi Express was critically injured when his train rammed into the Magadh Express near Sarai Bhupat railway station, some 300 km from Lucknow. Nine others sustained injuries in the collision.

In the third accident in Allahabad, two persons were injured when the Saryu Express collided with a railway maintenance trolley.

Inquiry
Commissioner Railway Safety K K Bajpai has been entrusted with conducting an inquiry into the mishaps, sources said.

The Railways have announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs five lakh each to the next of the kins of the deceased, Rs one lakh to the critically injured and Rs 10,000 to the other injured persons.

Traffic on the busy Delhi-Howrah route was adversely affected following the mishaps and several trains were either diverted or cancelled. The train services on the Kanpur-Delhi route was restored later in the day while the down track was still  blocked due to the accidents near Etawah and Kanpur.

This is the time of the year when large swathes of northern India is engulfed by dense fog. The situation is worsened when smog, caused by largescale pollution, disrupts, primarily air traffic.

Flight operations at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport came to a halt in the peak morning hours due to the fog and a cable glitch. No flight could take off or land for several hours as runway visibility dropped to 100 metres and general visibility to less than 50 metres, affecting around 36 domestic and international flights.

As many as 17 international and one domestic flights were diverted to Jaipur, Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Passengers were deplaned from six international flights and accommodated in hotels. Flight operations resumed at 10.20 am when the Runway Visual Range exceeded 300m and progressively turned smoother as visibility improved.

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