VASCO: The passengers of Vasco-Howrah Amaravati Express had a narrow escape on Friday when ten of its coaches derailed after the two engines attached to the coaches hit a road-roller at an unmanned level crossing between Bannikoppa and Bhanapur near Gadag in Karnataka.
There were no reports of any casualties or injuries to the passengers. The station manager, Vasco railway station, Mr P C Chacko said that according to information provided by divisional railway manager, Hubli division, Mr Adesh Sharma, the passenger train (8048) had left the Vasco station at 7.20 a.m. on Friday and the accident occurred at around 3 p.m.
The accident occurred when the driver of the road-roller attempted to cross the unigauge track even as the train was chugging towards the unmanned level crossing.
Two engines, three parcel vans, one second class luggage van, two general second class coaches, one AC 3-tier coach and one AC 2-tier coach were derailed. It is learnt that the train carried around 1,000 passengers.
On receiving information about the accident, Mr Sharma accompanied by senior Railway officials, doctors and pharmaceutical staff left in a medical relief van from Hubli to carry out relief operations. Another medical relief van from Hospet also reached the accident spot.
All the passengers of the derailed coaches were rescued along with their luggage and brought back to Hubli, about 120 km from the accident spot, in the remaining coaches.
The South Western Railways has cancelled train no 1048 Hubli-Miraj Express and train no 358 Dharwad-Hubli. The trains which were diverted are train no 6591 Hubli-Bangalore Hampi Express, train no 7416 Kolhapur-Tirupati/Hyderabad Haripriya Express, train no 8048 Vasco-Howrah Amaravati Express (unaffected portion), train no 6532 Yesvantpur-Ajmer Garib Nawaz Express and train no 7415 Hyderabad/Tirupati-Kolhapur Haripriya Express.
Mr Chacko informed that the inter-state train operations were not affected due to the derailment and added that the trains plying on various routes will be normal from Saturday onwards.