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Two dead, four hurt in train accidents

Sambalpur/Cuttack, May 24: Two persons died when Howrah-Jagdalpur Samaleswari Express rammed into a car at an unmanned railway level crossing at Khemesara near Barpali in Bargarh district today.

The deceased have been identified as Santanu Bishi and Durlabha Pradhan. Car driver Ganesh Khamari has been seriously injured.

In another mishap in Cuttack district, at least four persons were injured when their car collided with a passenger train at an unmanned railway crossing at Gajamba village under Dhurusia panchayat near Ghantikhal railway station at Athgarh today.

Bishi, who died in the accident at Khemesara, is the secretary of the Satalma Primary Co-operative Society, while Pradhan was an official of the state co-operation department.

They had been to Khemesara to look for a godown to stock the paddy by the co-operative society. However, on their way back, while the car was crossing the unmanned level crossing, the train rammed into the car dragging it on the track about 100 metres.

Bishi died on the spot while Pradhan succumbed to injuries at VSS Medical College and Hospital at Burla. Khamari has been admitted at Barpali hospital.

Barpali town resident Yogesh Badhei said: “The accident took place around 11.30am. Following the accident, local people had gathered at the spot and stopped the train movement for around half an hour.”

Another accident took place at that spot around two years ago. “At that time, a train had hit a four-wheeler,” said Badhei.

The mishap at Gajamba happened when a Wagon R was trying to cross the level crossing and hit by Bhubaneswar-Rourkela Intercity Express around 2:15pm.

Police said five persons, including two women, were travelling in the car from Bhubanewar to Dhenkanal when the accident occurred.

“A major tragedy was averted as the car had almost crossed the level crossing. However, the accident occurred after the back of the car was hit by the train engine,” said Akash Sahu, an eyewitness.

Mayadhar Panda, assistant sub-inspector of Ghantikhal railway protection force outpost, said that according to the train driver’s statement, the car driver was negligently trying to cross the unmanned crossing which led to the accident.

In another development, train services on the route that had been affected following the accidents, were normalised around 5pm.