Two train accidents injure 21

November 23rd, 2011 - 5:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Srinagar/Bhubaneswar, Nov 23 (IANS) At least 21 people were injured in two rail accidents Wednesday — a train derailment in Kashmir and a collision between two trains in Odisha — a day after seven people were killed when two coaches of a train caught fire in Jharkhand.

A coach and the engine of the Qazigund-Srinagar-Baramulla train that connects north and south Kashmir derailed in Kashmir’s Anantnag district, injuring 20 people, in the first rail accident since train services were launched in the valley in 2008.

“The derailment took place at Sadoora after the train left the Qazigund railway station today (Wednesday) morning,” a police officer told IANS here.

“A relief and rescue operation was immediately started and the injured are being shifted for treatment,” he added.

The officer said the derailment was accidental and ruled out any sabotage.

A 66-km section of the 119-km rail line, which is yet to be linked to the mainland rail network, was inaugurated Oct 11, 2008, by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

In Odisha’s Jharsuguda district, one person was injured when a passenger train collided with a goods train.

The accident took place when the driver of the Koraput-Howrah Samaleswari Express jumped the signal at Jharsuguda railway station, 374 km from here, police official R.N. Bal told IANS.

“Twenty-four-year-old Vikas Nayak jumped from the passenger train and suffered injuries on one of his legs. He is in hospital,” the official said.

On Tuesday, an air-conditioned coach of the Howrah-Dehradun Express was engulfed in flames which also spread to another coach. The tragedy left seven dead, including two children and an Australian national. A dozen others suffered varying degrees of burns.

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear. While there were hints about a leaking cooking gas cylinder causing the fire, passengers complained that the B1 coach had got over-heated because the air-conditioning system had been switched off and a heater turned on.

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