Hours after two trains collided near Hyderabad's Kacheguda Railway Station on Monday morning, footage from a CCTV camera in the vicinity gave a frame-by-frame account of the accident that reportedly occurred due to "manual error". While 12 people were injured, rescue teams had to cut through tonnes of wreckage to get to the loco pilot trapped in one of the trains.
The loco pilot, identified as Shekar, spent nine hours inside the mangled train operator's cabin before he was finally rescued.
The video clip accessed by NDTV shows a MMTS train racing in the direction of the station, apparently unaware of another train coming down the same track. The head-on collision that follows is so severe that the third and fourth bogies of the MMTS train are literally lifted into the air. Moments later, panicked passengers come pouring out of it.
Although the crash was initially believed to have been caused by a technical fault, a preliminary probe later found that "manual error" had led to the collision. The impact was reduced because both trains were travelling at a low speed, news agency ANI quoted BB Singh, Additional-General Manager of South Central Railway, as saying.
"Six coaches of the MMTS service and three coaches of the Hundry Express have been damaged. The 12 passengers were rushed to Osmania General Hospital, of whom two were discharged," South Central Railway said in a press release.
The Railway Ministry has announced compensation of Rs. 5,000 each to passengers with minor injuries and Rs. 25,000 each to passengers having grievous injuries.
"All passengers were jolted by its impact. The children were badly affected," one of the passengers was quoted as saying by news agency IANS. "Several passengers hit their heads and knees with the opposite seats resulting in bleeding," another said.
The accident led to South Central Railway to partially cancel at least 20 trains.
The Karnataka Congress criticised the centre over the accident, telling it to focus on improving existing rail infrastructure before moving on to more ambitious dreams like the Bullet train.