New Delhi/ Penukonda, May 22 (ANI): The public relations officer (PRO) of Indian Railways, Anil Saxena, on Tuesday said that rescue operations at the train collision site at Penukonda in Andhra Pradesh is almost over with most passengers being sent to their respective destinations safely.
"Relief and rescue operation is almost over, most of the coaches have been tackled but the last coach which was being tackled was the SLR coach next to the engine, that has also been tackled and now the technician team and the officials and the staff there, some of them have entered the coach to ascertain any possible survivors. All the injured have been admitted in the Penukonda hospital and Puttaparthi hospital," Saxena told media here.
He further said that traffic on the collision-hit track remains smooth with minor delays.
"Traffic is not disrupted on this section because one line was made functional immediately somewhere early in the morning itself so expect some train getting delayed, only one train was cancelled, rest situation is normal there. As far as the stranded passengers are concerned of the ill-fated train, they all have been taken to their respective destinations. Some of them were transported through 10 buses that were arranged by the railways, some of them were taken through Rajdhani and Udyan Express which was passing through that route," said Saxena.
Meanwhile, surviving passengers stressed on the need for a strong disaster management system.
"The ladies compartment and the general bogie, they have suffered very badly and immediately there was no response from the railways you know because nobody was there because that was a remote place where it was tough to approach and so it (rescue operation) was delayed, that is the thing. So I request railways that every junction should have disaster system like fire fighters, police and they should come because limited staff is there," said Vishal Rao, a passenger.
Passengers also said that they were provided help amid extreme chaos.
"Initially we were clueless about what to do post the accident. We were transferred to Rajdhani Express at 7 pm. We were not being allowed to travel in the train, however after news of the accident spread we were given help and boarded in the train," added Shankar Lal.
The Bangalore-bound Hampi Express collided with a goods train in Andhra Pradesh earlier this morning.
The collision occurred around 3:15 a.m. The Hampi Express, travelling from Hubli to Bangalore, rammed a stationary goods train near Penukonda station in Anantapur district. ANI)