10 of India’s Worst Train Accidents – Train accidents are one of the most tragic and devastating events that can happen on the railways. They often result in loss of lives, injuries, and damage to property and infrastructure.
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10 of India’s Worst Train Accidents, Check Below
India has witnessed several train accidents in its history, some of which have been among the worst in the world. In this article, we will look at 10 of the worst train accidents that occurred in India before the recent Balasore incident that killed over 200 people and injured 900 others.
1. Bihar Train Disaster (1981)
The Bihar train disaster is considered to be the worst train accident in India’s history and one of the deadliest in the world. It occurred on June 6, 1981, when a passenger train carrying about 800 people derailed and plunged into the Bagmati River near Mansi in Bihar. The exact cause of the accident is still unknown, but it is believed that heavy rains and flash floods may have washed away the tracks or damaged the bridge over the river. The rescue operations were hampered by the remote location, lack of communication, and strong currents. The official death toll was 268, but some estimates put it as high as 800.
2. Khanna Rail Disaster (1998)
The Khanna rail disaster was another major train accident that occurred on November 26, 1998, near Khanna in Punjab. It involved a collision between two trains: the Jammu Tawi-Sealdah Express and the Frontier Mail. The Jammu Tawi-Sealdah Express was running late and was given a green signal to proceed on the same track as the Frontier Mail, which was waiting at a station. The two trains collided head-on at a speed of about 100 km/h, resulting in a massive fire and explosion. The accident killed 212 people and injured more than 200 others.
3. Gaisal Train Disaster (1999)
The Gaisal train disaster was another horrific train collision that occurred on August 2, 1999, near Gaisal in Assam. It involved two trains: the Brahmaputra Mail and the Avadh Assam Express. Both trains were running on the same track due to a signal error and collided at a speed of about 110 km/h. The impact caused several coaches to derail and pile up on each other, creating a huge fireball that engulfed both trains. The accident killed 285 people and injured more than 300 others.
4. Firozabad Rail Disaster (1995)
The Firozabad rail disaster was one of the deadliest train accidents that occurred on August 20, 1995, near Firozabad in Uttar Pradesh. It involved a collision between two trains: the Purushottam Express and the Kalindi Express. The Purushottam Express was running late and was given a green signal to proceed on the same track as the Kalindi Express, which had stopped due to a mechanical failure. The Purushottam Express rammed into the rear of the Kalindi Express at a speed of about 110 km/h, causing a massive fire and explosion. The accident killed 358 people and injured more than 400 others.
5. Rafiganj Rail Disaster (2002)
The Rafiganj rail disaster was another major train accident that occurred on September 10, 2002, near Rafiganj in Bihar. It involved a derailment of the Rajdhani Express, which was travelling from New Delhi to Patna. The train was crossing a bridge over the Dhavi river when it derailed due to sabotage by Maoist rebels who had removed some fishplates from the tracks. The engine and several coaches fell into the river or crashed into nearby trees and rocks. The accident killed 130 people and injured more than 150 others.
6. Valigonda Train Fire (2005)
The Valigonda train fire was one of the worst train fires that occurred on July 29, 2005, near Valigonda in Telangana (United Andhra Pradesh). It involved a fire on board the Secunderabad-Kakinada Gautami Express, which was travelling from Secunderabad to Kakinada. The fire broke out in one of the coaches due to a short circuit or an electrical fault and quickly spread to other coaches. The passengers were trapped inside as there were no emergency exits or windows in some coaches. The fire killed 112 people and injured more than 100 others.
7. West Midnapore Train Derailment (2010)
The West Midnapore train derailment was another train accident that occurred on May 28, 2010, near West Midnapore in West Bengal. It involved a derailment of the Howrah-Kurla Lokmanya Tilak Gyaneshwari Super Deluxe Express, which was travelling from Howrah to Mumbai. The train was derailed by a blast triggered by Maoist rebels who had planted explosives on the tracks. The derailed coaches were then hit by a goods train coming from the opposite direction. The accident killed 148 people and injured more than 200 others.
8. Indore-Patna Express Derailment (2016)
The Indore-Patna Express derailment was another major train accident that occurred on November 20, 2016, near Pukhrayan in Uttar Pradesh. It involved a derailment of the Indore-Patna Express, which was travelling from Indore to Patna. The train derailed due to a fracture in the tracks or a rail defect and several coaches overturned and crashed into each other. The accident killed 152 people and injured more than 150 others.
9. Bikaner-Guwahati Express Derailment (2022)
The Bikaner-Guwahati Express derailment was another train accident that occurred on January 13, 2022, near Alipurduar in West Bengal. It involved a derailment of the Bikaner-Guwahati Express, which was travelling from Bikaner to Guwahati. The train derailed due to a landslide or a track failure and several coaches fell into a gorge or hit nearby trees and rocks. The accident killed 9 people and injured more than 36 others.
10. Balasore Train Accident (2023)
The Balasore train accident was the most recent and one of the worst train accidents that occurred on June 2, 2023, near Balasore in Odisha. It involved a collision of three trains: the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, and a goods train. The Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express derailed first and some of its coaches encroached on the adjacent track where they were hit by the Coromandel Express coming from the opposite direction. Some of the derailed coaches then hit a stationary goods train on another track. The accident killed over 260 people and injured more than 900 others.
10 of India’s Worst Train Accidents
Train accidents are tragic events that cause immense suffering and loss to the victims and their families. They also expose the flaws and shortcomings of the railway system and its safety measures. India needs to take urgent steps to improve its railway infrastructure, maintenance, signalling, communication, and security to prevent such accidents from happening again.