The Train No 18448 Jagdalpur – Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express derailed at Kuneru Railway Station in Vizianagaram district in Andhra Pradesh at Rayagada – Vizianagaram section at 11:15 PM (2315 hrs) on Saturday night at the border of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh under Waltair Division of East Coast Railways.
Engine and 9 coaches including one Passenger cum luggage coach, two Ordinary second class coaches, four sleeper class, one AC three tier coach and one AC two tier coach derailed, with 36 casualties and 23 left injured. Seven of them were grievously injured. They were admitted to hospitals.
Those with minor injuries were discharged after the first aid and the Medical relief train was rushed to the site. Ambulances were arranged. NDRF unit also rushed to the site, said Railways Ministry in a statement.
Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has announced an enhanced ex-gratia payment of Rs. 2 lakhs for the kin of deceased persons, Rs. 50,000 for grievous injuries and Rs.25,000 in case of simple injuries. Statutory inquiry into this incident has been ordered to be conducted by Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS), South Central Circle, Ram Kripal under the Ministry of Civil Aviation. He may visit the accident site later in the day.
Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu rushed to the accident site along with Chairman Railway Board AK Mital. Earlier, Member Rolling Stock Railway Board Ravinder Gupta, Member Engineering Railway Board Aditya Kumar Mittal rushed to the site.
Stranded passengers of the affected trains were later cleared towards their respective destinations through the unaffected portion of the train from Kuneru to Bhubaneswar via Rayagada – Sambalpur and 13 buses for short distance destinations like Brahmapur, Bhawanipatna, etc.
Due to this accident, the traffic on Rayagada – Vizianagaram Section has been affected and Railways had to divert, short-terminate and cancel certain trains passing through this Section which are being notified by the respective Zonal Railways.
Helpline Numbers were setup at the important stations along the route of the train.