An official in India stated on Monday that the dead toll from a train disaster in the south-eastern state of Andhra Pradesh has increased to 13, with 39 people injured, with investigations suspecting human error as the reason of the crash.
The Visakhapatnam-Rayagada passenger train came to a halt on Sunday due to a break in an overhead cable, and the Visakhapatnam-Palasa Express service crashed into it from behind, derailing two carriages of the halted train.
Nagalakshmi S., a senior government official in the region where the disaster occurred, told Reuters that more than 90 passengers were aboard the two coaches slammed by the second train, and the death toll had grown to 13, with 39 people injured.
According to Reuters, a preliminary examination discovered “human error” that resulted in the “overshooting of signal” by the Visakhapatnam-Rayagada train.
An officer with the Andhra Pradesh Fire Services confirmed early Monday that no passengers were left at the scene.
The catastrophe occurred just months after India’s state-run railway system suffered its deadliest crash in two decades, killing 292 people.
Indian Railways, the world’s fourth largest rail network, is undergoing a $30 billion renovation, with new trains and modern stations on the way.
Train Crashes in India
Train crashes in India, like in many other countries, can result from various factors and causes. These incidents can be attributed to a combination of infrastructure issues, equipment failures, human error, and adverse weather conditions. Some common reasons for train crashes in India include:
- Track Maintenance and Infrastructure Problems: Insufficient maintenance, subpar tracks, and inadequate signaling systems can lead to accidents. Derailments can occur when tracks are not properly maintained or when they are damaged by extreme weather conditions.
- Equipment Failures: Train crashes can result from mechanical failures in the locomotives, coaches, or braking systems. These failures can occur due to poor maintenance, manufacturing defects, or the aging of equipment.
- Human Error: Mistakes made by train operators, such as misinterpreting signals, overspeeding, or failing to adhere to safety protocols, can result in accidents. Additionally, errors made by railway staff responsible for maintenance and signal operations can lead to collisions.
- Overcrowding and Overloading: Overcrowded trains can become imbalanced, making them more susceptible to derailments. Overloading of freight trains can strain the tracks and result in accidents.
- Weather Conditions: Adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rains, fog, or flooding, can reduce visibility and affect track conditions, increasing the risk of accidents.
- Crossing Accidents: Collisions at railway crossings can occur when vehicles or pedestrians ignore warning signals and barriers. These accidents can have severe consequences.
- Sabotage and Terrorism: In some instances, train crashes in India have been caused by acts of sabotage, terrorism, or vandalism.
The Indian government and railway authorities continually work to improve safety measures, invest in infrastructure upgrades, and implement modern signaling and control systems to mitigate the risk of train accidents. Safety campaigns, education, and training for both railway staff and the general public are also essential to reduce the occurrence of train crashes.
It’s important to note that railway accidents are a global concern, and India, with one of the world’s largest railway networks, faces unique challenges in ensuring safety and security. Safety measures and regulations continue to evolve to address these issues and enhance the safety of rail travel in the country.