Eight persons were killed and 30 others injured today when the Bangalore-bound Hampi Express overshot a signal and collided with a stationary goods train at Andhra Pradesh's Penneconda station.
"Eight persons have died in the accident and 30 others injured when the train, going from Hubli to Bangalore, collided with a goods train at Penneconda station at around 3.15 am," a Railway Spokesperson said.
Three bogies, one SLR and two ordinary second class coaches, were derailed due to the impact of the collision. One of the coaches also caught fire.
The fire has been brought under control and rescue and relief operations were going on, he said.
Railway Minister Mukul Roy, who was in Kolkata, rushed to the site of the accident and ordered an inquiry into it.
Commissioner Railway Safety (Southern Circle), S K Mittal will conduct a statutory inquiry and has been asked to submit a report at the earliest.
Roy also announced a compensation of Rs five lakh to the next of kin of the deceased, Rs 1 lakh for those who sustained grievous injuries and Rs 50,000 to those who received minor injuries. The injured have been admitted to nearby hospitals.
"The reason of the accident is yet to be ascertained but prima facie it seems that the driver of the Hampi Express overshot the signal," the spokesperson said, adding senior railway officials have rushed to the spot.
Chairman Railway Board, Vinay Mittal, who was on a tour to Allahabad has cut short his visit and rushed to the accident site.
Also, Railway Board Members (Traffic), K K Srivastava, and (Mechanical) Keshav Chandra have left for the spot.
Railways has set up helplines at Bangalore City, Bellary, Hospet and Hubli.
The helpline numbers at Bangalore city are 080-22321166, 22156553, 22156554; Bellary 08392-277704; Hospet 08394-221788; Hubli 0836-2345338, 2346141, 2289826.