In a devastating train accident that occurred on Friday in Odisha’s Balasore district, three trains were involved, resulting in a death toll of at least 280 people. The incident took place when the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, en route to Chennai, derailed near Bahanaga Bazar station and collided with a goods train on the adjacent track. As a result, the rear carriage of the Coromandel Express veered onto a third track, where it was struck by the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express travelling at high speed from the opposite direction. The collision left over 900 individuals injured, making it a devastating tragedy.
This recent accident adds to the list of India’s deadliest train accidents in recent decades. Here are some notable incidents:
- June 1981: During a cyclone, an overcrowded passenger train experienced seven rear coaches being blown off the track, leading to approximately 800 fatalities.
- July 1988: The Peruman railway accident occurred when an express train derailed on the Peruman bridge over Ashtamudi Lake in Kerala, resulting in at least 106 deaths as ten carriages fell into the water.
- August 1995: Two trains collided near Delhi, claiming the lives of at least 350 individuals. The collision occurred when a passenger train crashed into a halted train after hitting a nilgai.
- August 1999: A signalling error caused the collision of two trains near Kolkata, resulting in the deaths of over 285 people. The trains were travelling on the same track due to maintenance closures on three out of four tracks.
- October 2005: Several coaches of a passenger train derailed near Velugonda in Andhra Pradesh, causing the deaths of at least 77 individuals.
- July 2011: The derailment of the Howrah-Kalka Mail near Fatehpur caused around 70 fatalities and over 300 injuries. Reports indicated fire and spark in the AC compartments of the train.
- May 2012: The collision between a cargo train and the Hubli-Bangalore Hampi Express in Andhra Pradesh resulted in approximately 25 deaths and 43 injuries.
- May 2014: The Gorakhdham Express collided with a stationary goods train near Khalilabad station in Uttar Pradesh, leading to 25 fatalities and more than 50 injuries.
- November 2016: The derailment of the Indore–Patna Express near Kanpur claimed the lives of 146 people, with more than 200 others sustaining injuries.
- January 2017: Several coaches of the Hirakhand Express derailed near Kuneru in Andhra Pradesh, resulting in the deaths of at least 41 individuals.
- August 2017: The Utkal Express derailed near Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, causing 23 deaths and nearly 60 injuries. The train was travelling from Puri to Haridwar.
- August 2017: The Kaifiyat Express derailed near Auraiya, Uttar Pradesh when it collided with a dump truck on the line. The incident led to at least 70 injuries as ten coaches of the train derailed.
- October 2018: A commuter train plowed through a crowd gathered for a festival in Amritsar, killing at least 59 people and injuring 57. The accident occurred during the Dussehra celebrations.
These tragic incidents serve as a stark reminder of the need for enhanced safety measures and diligent maintenance within India’s railway infrastructure.