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Bihar rail accident kills 6, days after FM boasts Railways safety record

Interestingly, 64 per cent of the total 44 accidents occurred till November this year was due to the failure of railway staff

Shine Jacob  |  New Delhi 

Rescue and relief works in progress after the nine coaches of Delhi-bound Seemanchal Express derailed at Sahadai Buzurg  station in Hajipur
Rescue and relief work in progress after 9 coaches of Seemanchal Express derailed at Sahadai Buzurg station

At least six people died and 30 injured on Sunday after 11 coaches of Delhi-bound derailed at Vaishali district in According to preliminary reports, a rail fracture caused the accident at 3.58 am.

The has announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased, Rs 1 lakh to grievously injured and Rs 50,000 to persons who sustained minor injuries.

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The accident has again raised questions on the lack of preparedness to tackle the issue of fractures. On an average, six every 100 km were recorded in 2017-18. Minister Piyush Goyal, who also holds the finance portfolio, during the interim speech on Friday had said that the current year was one of the safest.

Based on the ministry’s latest data, though the overall number of accidents in 2018-19 decreased 18 per cent compared to 2017-18, the cases of has increased by 26 per cent. From 3,006 cases of reported in 2017-18, the number increased to 3,788 in 2018-19. Sources cite poor track maintenance as the major reason. Some blame it on the extreme weather conditions in northern India — mainly due to the linear expansion of tracks in summer season and its contraction in winter. “Now, with track renewals being done on a better pace, efficient manning is needed. They need more safety staff and fill vacancies fast,” said a former railway board member. As on January, 1,51,348 safety-related posts were vacant.

First Published: Sun, February 03 2019. 17:27 IST
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