Penukonda: Eighteen people have been charred to death and over 35 have been injured after the Hampi Express collided with a stationary goods train at Penukonda in the Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh early on Tuesday morning. The accident happened at around 3:15 am on Tuesday.
The Hampi Express was on its way to Bangalore and reportedly overshot the signal. All those trapped inside the first three mangled bogies including the ladies compartment have been rescued. Four bodies were still stuck in the wreckage.
Rescue operations and efforts to restore the track are underway. Railway Minister Mukul Roy is on his way to the site. Railway Board Members (Traffic), KK Srivastava, and (Mechanical) Keshav Chandra have also left for the spot.
A probe has been ordered into the accident. Commissioner of Railway Safety (Southern Circle), SK Mittal will conduct a statutory inquiry and has been asked to submit a report at the earliest.
The Railway Ministry has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the families of the dead, Rs 1 lakh for those with grievous injuries and Rs 50,000 for those with simple injuries.
Three bogies of the Hampi Express got derailed. The accident caused the first two compartments of the train to catch fire. Reports say there was a short circuit in the first compartment.
The flames have been extinguished and Railway officials were trying to enter the train.
Reports said the Hampi Express was over-speeding and overshot a signal due to which it collided with the goods train. However the spokesperson for the railways said that nothing could be confirmed until the probe was over.
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(With additional information from PTI)