JAIPUR: At least four passengers sustained injuries after Ernakulam-Howrah Antodaya Express rammed a JCB machine at a manned level crossing near Haridaspur station in the district on Wednesday. The gateman was suspended by Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Khurda Road for dereliction of duty. The mishap took place around 10.15 am, officials said.
According to reports, the JCB developed a technical snag while passing through the level crossing between Haridaspur and Gadmadhupur railway stations in Jajpur district. On realising the train approaching towards the level crossing, the excavator’s driver alighted from it leaving behind the vehicle on the railway track. Ernakulam-Howrah Antodaya Express then rammed the JCB machine, eyewitnesses said.
“The JCB machine was passing through the level crossing near the north side of Haridaspur railway station when the gate was open. But, the excavator suddenly stopped on the railway track. The driver of the JCB tried to start it, but failed. A few minutes later, the approaching Ernakulam-Howrah Antodaya Express hit JCB machine,” an eyewitness said.
The intensity of the collision was so severe that a few passengers of the train were thrown out of their seats. The injured were admitted to a local hospital. Later, all the injured were shifted to SCB Medical, Cuttack.
The overhead wire and masts of the railway lines were damaged following the accident. The train then developed a technical snag and it was detained. Train services between Cuttack and Jajpur Road were disrupted for over an hour on the down line. Later, only down line was temporarily held up, while up and middle line were free for train movement, railway sources said.
The train left for its destination after three and a half hours, sources said. Meanwhile, gateman Jashobanta Swain was suspended by Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Khurda Road for dereliction of duty. “Besides, an inquiry has been ordered into the incident. Action will be initiated against those found guilty,” the DRM said. On the other hand, the suspended gateman said he had informed the Haridaspur railway station authorities on the JCB machine getting stuck on the railway track.