Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Prajjwal Kumar
With the death toll rising to 288, the train derailment on Friday, 2 June, in the Balasore district of Odisha has become the deadliest railway accident in nearly three decades.
A passenger train hit the derailed coaches of another train on Friday evening, causing at least 17 coaches to derail. Over 900 people have been injured in the incident.
While the death toll continues to swell, here's a list of some of the deadliest train accidents in India in the last few decades:
1. Bihar Train Derailment, 6 June 1981
A passenger train carrying nearly 900 people derailed and fell into the Bagmati river in Bihar on 6 June 1981.
United News of India had reported that the death toll from the accident was recorded at 215 initially and 300 people were reported missing.
While the reason behind the accident could not be ascertained and an official explanation was never provided, it is believed that the derailment was caused due to flash floods and cyclones.
2. Peruman Train Collision, 8 July 1988
On 8 July 1988, the Island Express collided with a local passenger train near Peruman, Kerala. The accident caused the death of approximately 150 people.
The official cause of the accident was not established but track alignment, faulty wheels, and lack of proper maintenance was supposedly the reason behind the accident.
3. Firozabad Train Collision, 20 August 1995
One of the deadliest train accidents in the last three decades took place in Uttar Pradesh’s Firozabad that resulted in the deaths of around 358 people.
According to the reports, over 2,000 people were onboard and sleeping when the Purushottam Express rammed into the Kalindi Express. Kalindi Express had stopped suddenly after hitting a cow on the tracks, a development which the signalman didn’t communicate to the driver of Purushottam Express.
4. Khanna Rail Tragedy, 26 November 1998
The Jammu Tawi-Sealdah Express collided with the Kalindi Express near Khanna, Punjab, on 26 November 1998, causing the loss of around 212 lives.
The accident occurred due to a missing piece of railway tracks causing the Frontier Mail to derail.
The Jammu Tawi- Sealdah express was carrying nearly 2,500 passengers.
5. Gaisal Train Crash, 1 August 1999
Approximately 290 people were killed when Awadh-Assam Express rammed into the Brahmaputra Mail in West Bengal’s Gaisal on 1 August 1999.
The train had nearly 2,500 people onboard when the accident took place due to a manual error.
According to a report by The Financial Express, it was too late before the driver of the already approaching Brahmaputra train saw Awadh-Assam train and a curve before the station building blocked the view of the train driver who could not see the track.
The findings of the Central Bureau of Investigation divulged that the accident was not a result of a “momentary failure,” Hindustan Times had reported and that it was largely a “human failure.”
6. Pukhrayan Train Derailment, 20 November 2016
Fourteen coaches of the Indore-Rajendranagar Patna Express derailed in Kanpur in the wee hours of Sunday, 20 November 2016. The accident resulted in at least 150 lives being lost while over 200 were injured.
7. Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express Derailed, 19 August 2017
Fourteen coaches of the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express derailed in Muzaffarnagar’s Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh on 19 August 2017. At least 22 people were reportedly killed, while over 200 were injured.
Senior railway officials said that maintenance work may have caused the derailment.
8. Amritsar Train Accident, 19 October 2018
Over 60 people were killed in a major train accident that took place near Amritsar’s Jora Phatak on Friday, 19 October 2018. DMU train number 74943 ran into people gathered near railway tracks watching the Dussehra celebrations around 7 pm.
The incident sparked massive protests, with various people staging a sit-in on the tracks and clashing with security personnel.