Ten feared killed in train mishap near Bengaluru

BENGALURU: As many as ten passengers were feared dead and nearly 100 injured after several coaches of the Bengaluru- Ernakalum Inter-City Express (Train No 12677) derailed on the outskirts of the City on Friday morning.

According to railway officials, the accident occurred around 7.35 am at Belagondapalle near Anekal town after the train hit a boulder that had fallen on the track. As many as nine coaches were derailed while the engine caught fire.

Local residents rushed to the spot to lend a helping hand while Tamil Nadu rushed seven ambulances and Karnataka ten as the accident site lies close to the border between the two States. The injured were rushed to Narayana Hrudayalaya on Hosur Road near the Electronic City.

Till noon about three bodies had been retrieved but were not identified. Workers were using gas-cutters to rescue those trapped inside the bogies. In all, nine bogies were derailed but the major damage was caused to D-7 and D-8 bogies, the latter taking the worst hit as the pantry car rammed into it with full force.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu who was regularly updating information about the accident through tweets said, “I am on way to Bangalore to visit the accident site to help all stranded. All possible help will be rendered to the families affected”.

He said he had directed all senior officers to rush to the spot. Law Minister Sadananda Gowda has also reached the accident site.

Sources said preliminary investigation revealed that the train may have come to a sudden halt after the engine hit the boulder causing derailment of the coaches. A bigger mishap was averted since the train was travelling at a slow speed as it was a ghat section and a pass for elephants as well.

An inquiry had been ordered to fix responsibility and for corrective action to prevent such unfortunate accidents, said the Railway Minister.  Relief and rescue operations are going on at the site, with medical teams from both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu on the spot. Help desks have been set up at the Bangalore City Railway Station and at the accident site.

The Inter-City Express which left Bengaluru at 6.15 am was scheduled to reach Ernakulam at 4.55 pm. It is a convenient train to commute between the two cities. Sources said that there were as many as 60 passengers from Kerala travelling in D-8 coach.

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