M A I N   N E W S

Punjab Mail derails near Rohtak, 26 hurt
Eight bogies jump off track 50-m track fracture may have caused accident  Railways orders probe
Bijendra Ahlawat/TNS

Rohtak, May 6
Eight coaches of the Delhi-bound Ferozepur-Mumbai Punjab Mail derailed in Rohtak district early this morning injuring at least 26 passengers. Railway authorities have ordered a probe into the accident.

The derailment occurred around 3.40 am about 15 km from here, Rohtak Range IGP Alok Mittal said. Eight coaches of the train got off the track between Kharawar and Sampla stations minutes after it left the Rohtak junction. Five of the coaches overturned.

Preliminary reports suggest that the derailment was caused because of a track fracture. They said that at least 50 metres of the track was found broken. Commissioner Railway Safety, Northern Circle, RK Kardam will hold the statutory probe into the accident.

While 23 of the injured were discharged from PGIMS here after treatment, three passengers with head injuries and fractures were still in hospital. They have been identified as Kapil Kumar and Ramesh Kumar of Bathinda and Nanhi Bai of UP.

Northern Railway spokesperson AS Negi said special arrangements had been made and most of the injured had proceeded on their onward journey. The unaffected coaches in the front of the train left for Delhi around two hours after the mishap. “The train reached Delhi around 8 am where additional coaches were attached,” he said.

The injured have been identified as Kapil Kumar, Ramesh Kumar, Manju, Rishpal, Sarbjeet Singh, Bimal Sharma and Sudhir (Bathinda); Nanhi Bai, Komal and Jagat Lal (UP), Harjinder Singh, Surjit Kaur and Baljit (Moga); Prem Lata, Subhash, Ashok Kumar and Anil (Rohtak); Sultan and Sunil (Ganganagar); Mohan Singh (Amritsar); Beena Yadav (Mainpuri); Surjeet and Balbir Kaur (Fazilka); Vijay (Ferozepur); Janak Rani (Delhi) and Prem Sagar (Agra).

(With agency inputs)




Technology saved many lives
Sudhanshu Verma/TNS

Bathinda, May 6
A relief and rescue team was rushed from Bathinda to the accident site under the supervision of senior section engineer Devendra Kumar at 5 am. A control room at the Bathinda station was set up for anxious family members of those on the train.

Railway sources said Punjab Mail coaches are anti-telescopic. The basement of these coaches is made of steel and designed to prevent coaches from smashing into one anther in case of a collision. Hence, despite high speed, the casualties were few.

Survivors Vijay Setia (57) and his son Amit (23) were in a state of shock. Vijay, a resident of Panchwati Nagar in Bathinda, said: “I heard a thunderous sound and saw passengers falling atop one another even as others held on to their seats tightly. Since I was near the door, I opened it and got down ,” he recalled.

“There was smoke all around. I thought the train was on fire. But as I turned around, I noticed that three coaches had been derailed. I asked my co-passengers to get down one by one and dialled 100 for help. The man on the other side was quick to respond,” he added.

"After boarding the train, I fell asleep. I felt a severe jolt and fell from my berth," recalled Harjinder Singh (58) of Dholia Khurd village in Moga district. "I broke my right hand. Thankfully, we got timely help," he said. 




Some missed exams, some destinations
Bijendra Ahlawat/TNS

Rohtak, May 6
“I have been unable to trace Sunil Soni (28), my younger brother who had left last night to appear in the recruitment test to be held by the Indian Railways in New Delhi today by the Punjab Mail, which met with an accident this morning,’’ said Rajender Soni, a resident of Ganganagar. He said his family was worried as no information about Sunil’s whereabouts had come so far.

“I could not get any help from the Railway Department to reach New Delhi after the accident,” said Bimal Sharma, a resident of Bathinda who got stranded after the mishap. “I took a bus from the accident site towards New Delhi,’’ he said, claiming that it was perhaps the injured who had been the main focus of the officials concerned. 



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