BHOPAL: An empty goods train collided head-on with a coal-laden goods train in Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh early on Sunday, killing three persons, including the loco pilot.
The mishap happened around 4.40 am on the rail track near Ghanahari village in Baidhan area of Singrauli district. The concerned rail track is owned and operated by the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and connects the coal mines in that part of Madhya Pradesh with NTPC power plants located in MP and adjoining Uttar Pradesh.
According to Singrauli district collector KVS Chaudhary, while one of the trains on the railway tracks was returning after emptying coal at an NTPC plant, the other goods train loaded with coal from a mine in Amlori (Singrauli) was on way to supply coal for NTPC-Rihand Plant in neighbouring Sonebhadra district of UP.
“Both the trains came face to face on the same track and collided head-on. Three persons, possibly the loco pilot and his two colleagues have died in the mishap. A high-level probe has been instituted by the NTPC, which has also decided to render employment to one family member of each of the deceased persons on compassionate grounds. The kin of the three deceased men will also get entire insurance money as well as additional Rs One lakh. Further, the NTPC has released Rs 25,000 immediately to each of three bereaved families,” the Singrauli district collector told The New Indian Express.
As the concerned track is exclusively used by the NTPC to ferry coal for power generation by its plants, hence no passenger rail traffic has been affected by the mishap. Informed sources said that as many as 13 wagons, besides the engine of one of the two trains jumped off the track following the early morning collision.
While a high-level probe has been instituted by the NTPC into the mishap, sources connected to the development said some fault in the signalling system or some error on part of the two train engine drivers, having caused the mishap cannot be ruled out.
The three bodies were extricated from the engine after a few hours’ efforts by cutting the engine with big gas cutters.
Meanwhile, the East Central Railway (ECR) in its official statement also made it clear that the Indian Railways had nothing to do with the early morning accident. The ECR Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) Rajesh Kumar said the mishap happened on the Merry Go Round (MGR) track system exclusively owned and operated by the NTPC. But acting on NTPC’s request, the Indian Railways is providing all support in the form of 140-tonne railway crane/ART and other equipment for early restoration of the movements.