The Hirakhund Express, bound to Bhubhaneshwar,Orissa from Jagdalpur, Chattisgarh, derailed on Saturday night, near Vijayanagaram, leaving 23 dead and many injured.
The incident occurred around 11.30 pm, while the train was passing by Kuneru railway station. The engine along with seven coaches (luggage van, two general compartments, two sleeper coaches, an AC three-tier coach and an AC two-tier coach) were derailed. While four coaches fell on an adjacent goods train, two sleeper coaches and a general coach were completely crushed under the impact of the accident. The train had 22 coaches.
23 bodies have been recovered from the rubble by Sunday morning and rescue operations are still in progress. The injured were rushed to the Parvathipuram and Raigarh government hospitals. “There would have been more casualties if the goods train hadn’t bore the brunt of the derailment,” a railway official told the media. “The general compartments and the S-9 sleeper coach were the worst damaged in the incident. We believe at least eight others are still trapped inside the crushed bogies. Efforts are on to rescue them,” the official said.