Gyaneshwari Train Accident

One of the most horrifying train accidents that have made headway into the news recently, is the Howrah-Kurla Gyaneshwari train derailment. The super deluxe Gyaneshwari Express was hit by another train carrying goods on the 28th of May 2010, around 1: 30am in the morning. The train was going for Mumbai from Kolkata and the accident took place in West Bengal’s west Midnapore district between Khemasoli and Sardiya stations about 150 km from Kolkata. The accident took place when the train met head on with the goods train because of track derailment. People are suspecting that a bomb blast may also have occurred as the driver of the train claimed to have heard an explosion. More than 141 are killed and 250 injured. The accident was gruesome as the bodies of the people dead as well as those surviving got mangled into one heap. The bodies were found under the engine of the goods train, which rammed into 5 of the13 derailed coaches of Gyaneshwari Express.

Security forces are suspecting Maoists guerillas as the accident took place near Jhargram, the notorious Maoist stronghold area. On further investigation, the railways department has found that the fishplates had been removed as as if the whole accident was pre-planned. The state police claimed that the Maoists have removed 46-centimeter of the railway track. Railway minister Mamata Banerjee said that a patrol engine had passed through the area half an hour before. She believes that the blast triggered by the Maoists must have blown away a portion of the tracks which was followed by the train derailment. She has further hinted the fact that the accident could be planned by some political party two days before the civic election for causing sabotage. She didn’t name any political party though..

The Indian air force helicopters were sent to the accident spot and they airlifted some of the injured passengers. Medical trains were also sent to the location to bring back survivors many of whom were from Maharashtra.  Many were still trapped inside for many days but slowly the alive were rescued. West Midnapore district magistrate has said that 62 bodies have been identified and handed over to families in concern.

Suspect Khagen Mahato, owner of a pickup van was arrested by the criminal investigation department of the west Bengal police. He admitted to ferry men, the saboteurs of the railway track led by the pro-Maoist tribal body. Mamata Banerjee, the railway minister has further demanded that the CBI probe into the Gyaneshwari accident. This demand was however rejected by both the West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and the Home Minister P.Chidambaram as the state police have almost solved the case. West Bengal police has further arrested Sameer Mahato leader of the PCPA, a key accused in the accident on Tuesday, the 8th.  Further investigation to find out who is behind this monstrous act is still on. The state police are trying their best to find the people behind this inhuman and ghastly crime.

Madhurima Ganguly