Tragedy on the Tracks: Deadly Train Accidents Across India
India’s extensive railway network is one of the busiest in the world, but it is not without its risks. Train accidents are tragically common, with incidents ranging from derailments to collisions. Poor maintenance, inadequate infrastructure, and human error are all factors that contribute to these disasters. This article will explore some of the deadliest train accidents in India’s history, examining the causes and consequences of these heartbreaking events.
1. West Bengal Train Derailment
Nine people were killed and 36 others were injured when a passenger train derailed in West Bengal in July 2021. The accident was caused by a crack in the tracks, which caused four of the 12 carriages to veer off the tracks.
2. Survivor of Bihar Train Accident Describes Horror
In June 1981, a train crash near the Bagmati River in Bihar, India, killed more than 500 passengers. The accident was caused when the engineer of the train attempted to avoid hitting a cow on the tracks, causing the cars to derail and plunge into the river. Krishna Keshav, who was on the train at the time of the accident, shared his account of the horror with the BBC.
3. The Deadly Combination of Monsoon Floods and Poor Infrastructure
India’s monsoon season often brings heavy rains and flooding that overwhelm the railway system. In July 2019, the Mahananda Express train derailed in floodwaters in Bihar, killing seven passengers and injuring dozens more. The tragedy highlighted the dangers of operating trains on tracks poorly equipped to handle extreme weather conditions.
4. Collision Near Mathura Claims 13 Lives
In October 2009, the Goa Express collided with the Mewar Express on the same track near the city of Mathura, killing 13 people and injuring 22 others. The collision occurred when the Goa Express rammed into the stationary Mewar Express, causing the engine of the former to climb onto the last carriage of the latter.
5. UP Train Crash Leaves Dozens Dead and Injured
One of the most recent incidents occurred in September 2021 when a passenger train collided with a stationary goods train near Churaib station in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state. The accident resulted in the deaths of 26 people and left nearly 90 others injured.
6. A Struggle for Accountability
Despite the frequency of train accidents in India, it can be difficult to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. In many cases, investigations into train accidents are slow to be initiated, with victims and their families left without answers or compensation. This lack of accountability only serves to compound the tragedy.
7. The Way Forward for Indian Railways
The Indian government has acknowledged the challenges facing the country’s railway system and has pledged to invest in improving infrastructure and safety measures. This includes the introduction of high-speed bullet trains and initiatives to modernize the railway system. However, it remains to be seen whether these efforts will be sufficient to prevent future train accidents.
The risk of train accidents is an unfortunate reality for those who rely on India’s extensive railway network. Improved infrastructure and stricter safety measures are essential to prevent future tragedies. However, it is equally important that those responsible for train accidents are held accountable for their actions, providing victims and their families with the closure they need to move forward.
1. How common are train accidents in India?
Train accidents in India are tragically common, with nearly 12,000 people killed in over 13,000 train accidents in 2020 alone.
2. What are some of the factors that contribute to train accidents in India?
Poor maintenance, inadequate infrastructure, and human error are all factors that contribute to train accidents in India.
3. What is the Indian government doing to prevent train accidents?
The Indian government has pledged to invest in improving infrastructure and safety measures, including the introduction of high-speed bullet trains and initiatives to modernize the railway system.
4. How can victims and their families seek justice after a train accident?
Victims and their families can seek justice through legal avenues, but the process can be slow and difficult.
5. How can individuals protect themselves while travelling on trains in India?
Individuals can protect themselves by choosing reputable train companies, avoiding boarding overcrowded trains or trains with suspicious activity, and staying alert to potential safety hazards.