23 killed in MP train accident

Absconding station master traced; liquor bottles found in his chamber

23 killed in MP train accident

The accident took place at around 4:45 am when the freight train of North-Central Railway was on the wrong track and hit the stationary passenger train on the front at Badarwas station, Shivpuri Collector Rajkumar Pathak said. The station in Shivpuri district is about 50 km from the nearest town of Guna.

The station master of Badarwas, who had apparently fled has now been traced and his blood sample has been taken to ascertain reports ascertain reports that liquor bottles were found in his chamber, sources said.

Yet to be traced

Railway officials said 11 of the 20 victims have been identified and efforts were on to identify the remaining nine. The officials said a preliminary inquiry showed that the good trains driver had overshot the red signal.

Just before the mishap, the goods train driver jumped off from the locomotive and fled, Pathak said.

Both the drivers of the Intercity train are said to be safe. Around 50 persons were injured  and of these 29 were admitted to hospitals in Guna and Shivpuri while remaining were discharged after first-aid, officials said.

Two front bogies of the Express Train have been badly damaged, Pathak said.  Bhopal Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Ghanshyam Singh said that an inquiry had been ordered into the accident, adding action would be taken against those found guilty.

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh for the next kin of the dead, Rs 1 lakh and Rs 50,000 for those with serious and minor injuries respectively.

Besides announcing monetary compensation, the government has also promised jobs to the next of the kin of those  killed. Minister of State for Railways K H Muniyappa has already left for the accident site along with senior railway officials.

Relief trains from neighbouring Bhopal, Guna and Bina have reached the spot, he said, adding relief and rescue operations were being carried out on a war footing.

Madhya Pradesh Governor Rameshwar Thakur and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan have expressed grief over the accident and conveyed their condolences to the families.

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