The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Train trauma again

Hyderabad, July 6 (PTI): In the third mishap in four days in Andhra Pradesh, an engine and two coaches of the Pakala-Bellary passenger jumped rails this morning.

The train’s assistant engine driver was killed and 22 passengers were injured when the train derailed in Chittoor.

Minister of state for railways Bandaru Dattatreya did not rule out sabotage, saying some sleepers and a fish plate were missing and 13 boulders found on the track. “It clearly indicates involvement of anti-social elements in the accident,” he said.

The minister said the accident relief and medical relief trains had been sent to the site.

Railway officials said assistant engine driver D. Mani was killed and another driver, .S. Gupta, received head injuries. The injured passengers were administered first aid. Arrangements were made for the passengers to continue their journey.

The minister said prevention of sabotage of rail services was the responsibility of state governments.

“The state police, with the railway police, need to undertake patrolling of sensitive areas on the routes. The department officials regularly coordinate with the state government to supervise the safety scenario,” he said.

On July 2, 17 people were killed and 27 injured when the engine of the Hyderabad-bound Golconda Express fell from a bridge, resulting in four bogies being derailed near the Warangal railway station.

Another train mishap in Secunderabad was reported the next day.

Dattatreya said the government is taking steps to minimise rail accidents. “There is a need to build confidence among passengers in this regard,” he added.

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