What is the reason behind frequent train accidents in India?
Train accidents remain a big challenge for Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu who is pro-actively revamping the railways.
At least 23 people have died and over 72 injured after 14 coaches of the Utkal Express derailed near Muzzafarnagar in western Uttar Pradesh on Saturday evening.
The incident has brought the focuss on flaws within the Indian Railways as reports reveal train derailment leading the cause of train accidents in last decade in India.
According to a report submitted by the Standing Committee on Railways to Lok Sabha in December 2016, derailments were the leading cause of train accidents in India between 2003 and 2016 claiming 511 lives in the same period.
The leading reason behind these accidents was failures on part of the railway staff. Most instances were those of carelessness, adoption of shortcuts and non-observance of safety rules and guidelines, reports Firstpost.
Analysing the data given in the report shows there were 90 deaths due to derailment, 8 due to collision, 12 during manned level crossing accidents, 41 deaths due to fire in train and 5 miscelleneous.
2016 proved to be more dangerous for trains than 2015 which had only seven collisions and derailments in which 65 people were killed. In 2016, nearly 150 people were killed in Indore-Patna Express derailment alone.
This one was the biggest railway accident in the world in 2016.
Here is the list of major train accidents in 2017
Utkal Express derailment
In one of the worst train accidents this year, at least 20 passengers were killed and over 80 others injured after 14 coaches of the Puri-Haridwar Kalinga Utkal Express derailed at Khatauli, 25 km from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, on Saturday evening. The death toll is expected to rise.
Meerut-Lucknow Rajya Rani Express derailment
Eight coaches of Lucknow-bound Meerut-Lucknow Rajya Rani Express derailed near Rampur in Uttar Pradesh on 15 Jan 2017. Over 10 people received injuries, but no one was severely hurt. Operations on the Delhi-Lucknow route have been severely hit as dozens of trains have been indefinitely delayed and several stand cancelled
Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express derailment
At least 40 people were killed and over 65 injured after the 18448 Hirakhand Express went off the rails in Andhra Pradesh's Vizianagaram district on 22 Jan 2017.
Kalindi Express derailment
Six bogies Delhi-bound Kalindi Express which was coming from Kanpur, collided with the goods train after the driver apparently overshot the signal in Feb 20 2017. No casualties were reported.
Ujjain train blast
Eight people were injured, two of them seriously, in the first-ever strike in India by the so-called Islamic State, a module radicalised by the deadly terrorist organisation triggered a low-intensity blast in a train in Madhya Pradesh on 3 March 2017.
Train rams into ambulance
Four women including the mother of a newborn were killed on Thursday night when a train rammed into an ambulance at an unmanned level crossing at Mannekote-Talaka road near Challakere in the Chitradurga district in central Karnataka on 17 March 2017. The mishap occurred because the ambulance driver miscalculated the speed the train was traveling at and tried to squeeze through the crossing even after seeing the approaching train.
Mahakaushal Express derailment
At least 52 people were injured on Thursday when eight coaches of the Jabalpur-Nizamuddin Mahakaushal Express derailed near Kulpahar station in Uttar Pradesh's Mahoba district on 30 March 2017.
Goods train derailment in West Bengal
Train services were affected after engine of a goods train derailed today between Madpur and Jakpur in Howrah-Kharagpur section of South Eastern Railway on 9April 2017.