Vasco-Howrah express derails in Karnataka, none hurt

Bangalore, June 18 (Calcutta Tube) Passengers of the 8048 Amaravati Express from Vasco-Da-Gama to Howrah had a narrow escape Friday when eight of its 23 coaches derailed after its engine hit a road-roller at an unmanned level crossing near Koppal in north Karnataka, a railway official said.

‘Though eight bogies, including two air-conditioned coaches and three general coaches behind the double engine express derailed, no injury or casualties were reported,’ South Western Railway (SWR) spokesman S.P. Shastri told IANS on phone from Hubli.

The accident occurred between Banikoppa and Bhanapur stations near Koppal, about 330 km from here, when the road-roller’s driver attempted to cross the unigauge track even as the express was chugging towards the unmanned level crossing.

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 15 coaches.

‘The express will resume its journey later in the night via Harihar, Chikkajajur and Rayadurg towards Bellary skipping Koppal and Hospet stations en-route as the track restoration work is under progress,’ Shastri said.

Five bogies, including two AC coaches will be attached to the express at Hubli for accommodating the affected passengers before it resumes its journey towards Howrah via Bellary and Guntakal.

The three parcel vans, which were ahead of the general and AC coaches, will be detached to reduce the load.

‘Movement of other passenger and goods trains, affected due to the derailment, will be resumed on the diverted route,’ Shastri added.

Meanwhile, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) registered a complaint with the Koppal police against the driver of the road-roller, Shastri said.

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