At least 23 people were killed when two Delhi-bound passenger trains
collided early Wednesday in Uttar Pradesh's Mathura city. Hours
after the Goa Express rammed into the stationary Mewar Express,
several people continued to be trapped in the mangled carriages.
More than 20 people were injured in the accident that occurred
around 5 a.m. at an outer signal, about 55 km from Agra.
Rajesh Kumar, senior divisional commercial manager at the accident
site said: "Twenty three deaths have been confirmed. The condition
of some of those injured is critical and unstable. The number could
go up. Rescue work is continuing as bodies have to be taken out of
The Mewar Express, in which some people from the Goa Express had
been accommodated, had been stopped at nearby Vrindavan. Some buses
have also been arranged to take the passengers to Delhi, about 150
"Work is progressing at a fast pace and the situation should
normalise within a few hours," public relations officer Bhupendra
Dhillon said at the divisional railway manager's (DRM) office.
Traffic along the busy route that affects Delhi-West and Delhi-South
trains has been disrupted. Several trains have been diverted and the
Intercity Express from Agra to Hazrat Nizamuddin has been cancelled.
The Taj Express and the Shatabdi from Delhi are likely to be
delayed, the official added.
Trains are being diverted from Agra Cantt railway station towards
Tundla junction for Delhi. Railway officials said most trains were
likely to be delayed. "Arrival at Delhi would be delayed by a few
hours, as there would be heavy traffic on this line via Agra Fort
junction and Yamuna Bridge station towards Tundla which is connected
by a second track," an official said.
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was in Kolkata, ordered an
inquiry into the train collision and announced a compensation of
Rs.500,000 for the families of the deceased.
Uttar Pradesh's Agriculture Minister Laxminarain Choudhry has also
announced a compensation of Rs.10 lakh and a job for the families of
Senior Railway officials in
said that prima facie the accident appeared to have occurred due to
the driver of the Goa Express having overshot the signal. "The
section where the collision took place has an Automatic Block
Signalling system in which the signal does not allow one train to
enter a block unless it is clear.
Since track circuiting is in place, once a train halts mid-section,
the signal goes red. In this case too, the signal would have gone
red once Mewar Express halted in the middle of the section. The only
way the Goa Express could have then entered the block was with its
loco-pilot overshooting the signal," a senior railway official said.
Asked about the possibility of the signal having failed, Railways
officials said that the signals in a Automatic Block Signalling
system are "fail-safe". "Even if the signal fails, it will
automatically become red ensuring that no other train enters a given
block section," an official explained.
Meanwhile, Railway Minster Mamata Bannerjee has announced for those
who are killed in and injured in the accident.