Rohtak: Punjab Mail derails; 27 hurt, probe ordered
Rohtak: At least 27 passengers including seven women were injured when eight coaches of the Delhi-bound Ferozpur-Mumbai train derailed in Haryana's Rohtak district early this morning.
The Punjab Mail which was on its way to Mumbai derailed near Sampla-Kharawar at 3.50 AM, Alok Mittal, the IGP of the Rohtak Range, said. The accident site is over 70 kms from Delhi.
Six bogies of the second-class sleeper compartment (S-5 to S-10), one luggage compartment and the guard coach jumped tracks, railway officials said, adding five of the coaches overturned after the derailment.
Three passengers received grievous injuries in the incident while 24 others escaped with minor ones. All the injured passengers were shifted to PGIMS hospital at Rohtak.
Commissioner Railway Safety, Northern Circle, RK Kardam will hold a statutory inquiry into the accident.
Preliminary information indicates that the derailment has been caused prima facie because of rail fracture.
Railway officials said that at least 50 metres of the rail track was found broken at the accident site.
"We are trying to ascertain whether the railway track broke due to the accident or whether the broken track led to the accident," a railway official at the accident site said.
"Most of the passengers in the derailed coaches were sleeping when the accident took place," said police officials.
Thirty trains, including 16 local ones, were affected. They were either cancelled, diverted or short terminated.
A team of senior railway officials headed by Additional General Manager BP Gupta and Divisional Railways Manager, Delhi, Ashwani Lohani along with medical team immediately rushed for the site of incident.
"After boarding the train, I fell asleep. A few hours later, all of a sudden I felt a severe jolt and fell from my berth," 58-year-old Harjinder Singh of Dholia Khurd village in Punjab's Moga district told PTI.
"I broke my right hand. When I turned around, I could see that passengers had fallen on top of one other. It was a horrific scene, but luckily, we got timely help. Ambulances reached there and we were extricated from the train," he said.
Kapil of Bathinda had suffered head injury while Ramesh Kumar, also of Bathinda in Punjab and Nanhi Bai of Uttar Pradesh sustained fractures.
27-year-old Baljeet Singh of Moga was also among those injured. His parents were also travelling with him in the train and were in the S-10 bogey.
"It was a nightmarish experience. We thank Waheguru (almighty) that we are all safe otherwise things could have been worse," Baljeet's father said.
34-year-old Manju was travelling with her husband Rakesh and children to Delhi and was among the injured.
"We were in S-10 bogey, the one which suffered maximum damage. There was a sudden jolt. Passengers and luggage fell all over. We were taken out in 30 minutes," said Rakesh.
A team of doctors headed by Chief Medical Superintendent of Northern Railway camped at the hospital and assisted the hospital authorities. Most of the injured were discharged after the treatment and railways made special arrangements for the onward journeys of injured, the railway officials said.
The unaffected front portion along with other passengers of the ill-fated train left at 6.00 AM and arrived at New Delhi by 8:00 AM from where it has moved to its onward journey.
At New Delhi Railway Station, additional coaches were arranged and attached in place of the coaches derailed to accommodate all the passengers of the train to proceed on their onward journey.
Railways Minister Mukul Roy himself monitored the situation and spoke to Chairman Railway Board, the hospital authorities in PGIMS Rohtak, DRM Delhi at site and the loco-pilot of the affected train.
Financial assistance has been arranged to the affected passengers.
In order to provide information to the public, Northern Railway has set up the helplines at all major stations all along the routes served by the affected train.
The train originates from Ferozepur in Punjab starting its nearly 34 hour-journey to Mumbai at 9:45 pm Each day.
It leaves Punjab shortly after midnight after covering stations including Faridkot, Kotkapura, Bhatinda and enters Jakhal in Haryana after 1 a.M., then covers Tohana, Narwana, Jind and is schedules to reach Rohtak around 3:22 am and Delhi at 5 in the morning.
It then covers stations including Gwalior, Bhopal before reaching Mumbai.