Deodurg MLA, 4 others killed as truck rams train

Deodurg MLA, 4 others killed as truck rams train

Deodurg MLA, 4 others killed as truck rams train

Five people, including senior Congress MLA from Deodurg A Venkatesh Naik (80), were killed after a granite-laden truck rammed into the  Bangalore-Nanded Express train at Madakasira, near here, in the early hours of Monday.

Four coaches, B-1, H-1, S-1 and S-2, were derailed. Three among the dead were male passengers travelling in H-1 air conditioned coach’s E and F coupes. Naik, a former  four-time MP from Raichur, was in E coupe along with co-passenger T S D Raj (53) of Bengaluru in E coupe while Edora Pulla Rao (48) of Raichur  was in F coupe. AC coach mechanic Syed Ahmed (45) of Mysuru and truck driver Nagaraju (48) were also killed.

The train had left Bengaluru City Station at 10:30 pm on Sunday. According to South Western Railway officials, the accident occurred at 2:33 am when the train was passing the manned level crossing between Rampally and Penukonda, at approximately 130 km/per hour speed.

The truck, which was coming from a nearby quarry, crashed into multi-level barriers, a rumble strip hump and another hump before hitting the moving train. A huge granite boulder weighing around 20 tonnes, rolled from the truck onto H-1 coach of the train. The impact was such that the boulder mowed down the coach and fell on the other side of the track along with the seats and their occupants.

“The MLA’s head was severed and found only a few hours later. After sunrise, other body parts were recovered,” Narasimharaja, a local told Deccan Herald. Naik’s identity was not established till around 5 am.

The shaving kit and other belongings of the MLA, including his white shirt, were found scattered, eyewitnesses told Deccan Herald. The body of the MLA was sent to Raichur and the last rites were held with government honours at 7 pm at his farm house at Juttamaradi, 4 km from Arakera.

The ripped-off train seats and belongings of the victims and the boulder were found on one side of the track while the mangled truck was on the other side. The train came to a halt some 200 metres away with three coaches derailed.

“The H-1 coach is the fifth coach from the engine. A strong steel bridge, barely 20 metres before the level crossing, withstood the impact of the derailment and the other coaches of the train did not capsize. Had that happened, the casualties would have been much more since there were many passengers in S1, S2, S3 sleeper coaches,” a senior railway official said. Commissioner Railway Safety Sunil Kumar Mittal said that an enquiry will be conducted.

“All along the road, there are sufficient signages alerting motorists about the level crossing ahead.The road from Pavagada side also has boards directing drivers not to cross 40 kmph. Moreover, there are two humps within five metres before the crossing. We will take all these aspects into consideration during the enquiry,” he said.

Jagadish Gupta (53) and Shanta Gupta, who were travelling from Bengaluru to Raichur and bed roll attendant Suresh were injured. Jagadish and Suresh are treated at hospitals in Bengaluru. Shanta was treated as out patient at government hospital here.