New Delhi: Five people were killed and over two dozen were injured when Malda Town-New Delhi Express, also known as New Farakka Expres, derailed at Harchandpur station near Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh at around 6.05 am on Wednesday morning.
According to Indian Railways, the train engine along with six coaches were derailed which led to tragedy and an enquiry by the Commissioner of Railway Safety had been ordered by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.
The minister also announced a compensation of ₹ 5 lakh for the deceased and ₹ 1 lakh and ₹ 50,000 for the injured and those with minor injuries, respectively.
“The number of accidents came down from 314 in 2016 to 187 in 2017, and 16 in the first half of 2018. This happened due to numerous measures taken in recent years," a senior railway official said. “We are undertaking work of track renewal and block maintenance on priority basis and such tragedies will be averted completely in the coming years."
Safety on the Indian Railways network is the end product of the cohesive fusion of its myriad parts. Over 700,000 people work on safety related operations at the country’s largest employer, according to Indian Railways’ response to a Parliament question. A small slip by one of them, or a single flaw in the 66,030-km track crisscrossing the country can affect one or more of the 10,773 locomotives, 63,046 coaches and 245,000 wagons, jeopardising 23 million passengers and three million tonnes of freight that the network carries everyday.
However, Indian Railways currently has around 1.2 lakh vacancies in the safety category. Recruitment for some of them are already under process.