16 hurt as 2 trains collide in Hyderabad

MMTS overshoots signal at Kacheguda and rams into Hundry Intercity Express.

Hyderabad: Two passenger-filled trains — an MMTS local and the Hundry Intercity Express — had a head-on collision near Kacheguda railway station in the city on Monday mor-ning, in which 16 people, including the MMTS loco pilot, were injured.

At 10.39 am on Monday, an MMTS train (47178), headed from Lingamp-ally to Falaknuma, and the Hundry Intercity E-press train, going from Kurnool to Secundera-bad, collided at the interchange of the Kacheguda railway station.

This is the first-ever incident of a head-on collision, in which both railway trains were headed towards the other on the same track, in the South Central Railway. “We have never ever seen an incident like this before,” said senior SCR officials.

The express train, which was on the first line, was given a green signal to move from line 1 to line 3 so that it could enter platform no 3. While the express train was changing its tracks, heading from line 1 to 3, the MMTS, which was stationery on platform number 2, and should have been made to wait there with a red signal, till the Intercity express had reached the platform no. 3, started from the station, surged ahead and collided head-on with the express.

The MMTS, starting from platform no 2, headed towards Falaknuma, collided with the Hundry Express, as it was entering the Kacheguda railway station, at the interchange. Only seven coaches of the MMTS had left the platform, while five were yet to leave the platform, when the accident took place.

The collision resulted in crushing of the MMTS local train. The accident led to the derailment of six MMTS coaches and three coaches of the express train.

The footage of CCTV cameras at the Kacheguda railway station captured the collision of trains and passengers of MMTS jumping out of the derailed coaches to save their lives.

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP) swung into the action to rescue passengers along with the the National Disaster Respon-se Force. The Disaster Relief Force (DRF) teams of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) were also called to carry out an operation to rescue the loco pilot, who was stuck between the engines.

Chandra Shekar D, the MMTS loco pilot, who got stuck inside the cabin of the MMTS, was rescued by the NDRF and GHMC DRF teams after a rescue operation that lasted over seven-and-a-half hours.

The 15 other injured persons were admitted to the Osmania General Hospital. Of the injured persons shifted to a hospital for treatment, seven are admitted with severe injuries, but others were discharged after being given first-aid. The derailment of MMTS coaches resulted in injuries to passengers but passengers in the express train escaped unhurt.

The loco pilot, Mr Chandra Shekar (crew ID: KCG 1297), 36 years-old, a resident of the city, suffered multiple injuries and shifted to the Care Hospital for treatment. The rescue teams had to cut the side door of the loco pilot’s cabin, using heavy machine cutters and drillers. He was pulled out of the crushed metal debris at around 6.30 pm, safely. After the railway doctors conducted an initial check-up on the spot, Chandra Shekar was shifted in an ambulance to Care Hospital.

B.B. Singh, additional general manager, South Central Railway, said, “Primary investigation reveals that the accident occurred due to human error. A high-level inquiry has been ordered with the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS), South Central Circle. They will conduct a probe on November 13 to establish facts and investigate reasons behind the incident.”

Railway officials said that restoration of track is being carried out on a war-footing basis to ensure normalcy in train services is restored.

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