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May 23, 2012 at 11:27am IST

Andhra Pradesh Hampi Express accident: 24 dead, probe ordered

Penukonda: The death toll in the train accident in Andhra Pradesh has risen to 24, with over 35 people injured, sources say. 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.

Earlier, Railway Minister Mukul Roy had said, "It is a sad incident. I have ordered for a probe. I am going to the accident site. The Indian Railway is trying to implement TPWS (Train Protection Warning System) as early as possible," Roy said.

ALSO SEE Timeline: Train accidents in India since 2000

The Hampi Express was on its way to Bangalore and reportedly overshot the signal.

Rescue operations and efforts to restore the track are underway. Four bodies were still stuck in the wreckage. Railway Board Members (Traffic), KK Srivastava, and (Mechanical) Keshav Chandra have also left for the spot. 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. Karnataka Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 1 lakh to the victims' families and Rs 25,000 to those who are injured.

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.

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.

Helpline numbers:

Bangalore: 080 22371166, 22156553, 22156554

Bellary: 08392 277704

Hubli: 0836-2345338, 2346141, 2289826

Hospet: 08394-221788

(With additional information from PTI)

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