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26 children killed as speeding train hits school bus in Telangana

Thursday, 24 July 2014 - 6:33pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna webdesk


The death toll has touched 26 in the accident at an unmanned railway crossing at Medak in Telangana where a school bus collided with Nanded- Hyderabad express. According to DIG of Telangana, investigation is on to find out the cause of the accident though rail ministry has already blamed the bus driver for this tragic incident. 

 The accident took place on Thursday morning when the bus was crossing the roads at Masaipet village in Maharashtra. According to reports there were 40 children on board at the bus. A senior police officer told AFP, "11 students and the bus driver were killed", while a railway official said he feared as many as 25 children were dead after the collision. Reports say there were 40 children on board the bus. "12 feared dead including 11 children, while 16 grievously injured," said DIG N Suryanarayana. 

 Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao has ordered an inquiry and is believed to be on his way to the site. Telangana Home Minister Naini Narsimha Reddy expressed his condolences and said a thorough inquiry will be conducted."It is a sad incident. A thorough inquiry will be conducted and action will be taken against those responsible." 

Rail Ministry though believes that prima facie evidence suggest school bus driver was at fault. Additional Director General PR, Railways, Anil Saxena said that bus driver or his attendant should have been cautious to go down and check that the tracks are clear. He stressed that railways are trying their best to provide best possible care to the injured and that they are collaborating with the local administration. 


Railways still has 14,853 unmanned level crossings out of total 32,694 crossings across the country despite frequent accidents at these crossings as the one happened in Kanshiram Nagar (Kannauj), where a bus carrying a wedding party collided with Mathura-Chapara express.
In 2010-11, 229 people died at unmanned level crossings against a toll of 95 in 2011-12. Railways data shows, 48 train accidents had taken place at unmanned level crossings last year, while there have been 13 accidents since this April.
But, rail officials claim that the accident rate has come down from 340 in 2002 to 229 last year following the impact of an awareness campaign. Though they admit urgency to man these crossings, funds crunch is being cited as the main constraint. "The cost of manning thousands of such crossings is huge," an official said, adding that it has plans to eliminate around 2,500 unmanned level crossings by the end of this fiscal.
 Indian government is currently looking to start bullet trains, yet more than 40% of all the level crossings in India are unmanned owing to cash crunch apparently. It is truly an alarming and baffling statistics. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his deep regrets to the families of those who lost their lives in the accident in Medak, Telangana. He has wished for speedy recovery of all those injured in the accident. 



This is what other media organisations are reporting about this unfortunate accident which possibly happened due to human callousness. 


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