Wednesday, 5 August: The mishap on Tuesday night involving the derailment of two trains has so far claimed 27 lives and resulted in injuries to about 40 people as per reports. Condolences and reactions continue to come in. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar described it as very painful news, and added that his government has directed the concerned ‘officials to gather complete information about passengers who were on board.’
He also said that the state government will extend all possible help to those involved in rescue and rehabilitation efforts. “We have asked the DGP (Director General of Police) to be in contact with the officials there. We will do whatever we can do to help in this incident. It is very sad incident,” he told ANI.
Madhya Pradesh’s Minister of Urban Administration, Housing and Environment and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kailash Vijayvargiya told ANI, “I have been talking to everyone since last night. Relief work is going on, and, I think, the way they have cooperated with each other in the relief work, it should be appreciated.”
Former Minister of State for Railways, K.H. Muniyappa, who represents the Kolar parliamentary constituency in Karnataka in the Lok Sabha, told ANI, “It is sad that more than 25 people have died.The (railway) department should be vigilant. It is the duty of the PM (Prime Minister) to visit and order a proper enquiry.”
When asked to comment on what he though could be the reason for the tragedy, Muniyappa told ANI, “I can’t say, there may be some faults.”
On the issue of what steps were needed to make the railways safer and more competitive, he said that it was all very well to compete with countries like China, “but, first of all, you have to worry about this.”
Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs M Venkaiah Naidu told ANI, “An unfortunate accident has taken place in MP. Once he (Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu) comes back, a statement will be made in both houses of parliament.”
He further stated, “It should be inquired into, and we must try to avoid such incidents from taking place in the future.”
The reactions came hours after at least ten bogies of two passenger trains derailed and fell into a river near Harda in Madhya Pradesh late on Tuesday night.
The death toll was being pegged at 27 and the injury toll was said to be around 40. According to reports, more than 300 people have been rescued so far.
Local reports said that seven coaches of the Mumbai-Varanasi Kamayani Express derailed around 11.30 p.m. while crossing the bridge over the River Machak, near the Kudawa Railway Station, which is around 25 km from Harda.
Minutes later, three coaches and the engine of the Jabalpur-Mumbai Janata Express, which was travelling in the opposite direction, also derailed.