`Train accidents killed 2 every 3 days in past 8 yrs’
Investigations into 1,018 `consequential’ train accidents in the past eight years, which took 1,940 lives at the rate of 2 deaths every 3 days, revealed that only 4.7% of them were caused by sabotage.
A whopping 44% were caused due to failure of railway staff.
Nearly 3,200 people suffered injuries in these accidents. That only 48 of these accidents (4.7%) were the result of sabotage puts the focus back on the lack of safety measures. The number of people India loses to train accidents is probably due to the huge shortage of frontline employees belonging to the “safety category“–1.27 lakh such posts remained vacant at the end of 2016.
The safety employees–trackmen, pointmen, patrolmen, technicians and station masters among others–are directly responsible for the safe running of trains. The shortage of the key task force has resulted in overworking of existing staff, almost all working more than 15 hours a day .
All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) vice-president Venu P Nair told TOI that while the number of trains and routes are increasing, recruitment has not kept pace.
“Decreasing the number people who maintain tracks and trains will lead to accidents. A majority of accidents happen due to derailing and most cases happen near the welding sections of tracks.There aren’t enough trained people to do welding, which comes under the safety category,“ he said.
Of the 1,018 accidents reported between 2009-10 and 2016-17, 447 (44%) were caused by failure of railway staff, which senior officials said, include lack of inspections, incomplete maintenance of tracks, rolling stock and signalling systems. Another 426 accidents (42%) were a result of “failure of other than railway staff.“ Other reasons, together accounting for 9.3%, are failure of equipment and incidental reasons.
Explosives were filled in a tube: Kanpur suspect
Explosives were filled in a 12-inch-long tubular structure to blow up railway tracks near Kanpur, which resulted in the derailment of the Indore-Patna Express on November 2 last year. This was revealed by Shivam Soni, who was arrested from Begusarai district on Tuesday, for his alleged role in the sabotage. At least 150 passengers were killed in the derailment.