The derailment of Train No 18448 Jagdalpur - Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express took place at Kuneru Railway Station in Vizianagaram district in Andhra Pradesh at Rayagada - Vizianagaram section at 2315 hrs on 21st January 2017.The accident site is at the border of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh and is near Rayagada town in Odisha. The Accident site falls under Waltair Division of East Coast Railways. Engine and 9 coaches including one Passenger cum luggage coach, two Ordinary second class coaches, four sleeper class, one AC three tier coach and one AC two tier coach derailed.
As per available information, 36 are deceased, 23 sustained injuries in this unfortunate incident which included 7 grievously injured. They were admitted to hospitals. Some persons with simple injuries were discharged after the first aid. Medical relief train was rushed to the site. Ambulances were arranged. NDRF unit also rushed to the site.
Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has expressed profound grief over the loss of innocent lives. It is a tragic and unfortunate accident. He has announced an enhanced ex-gratia payment of Rs. 2 lakhs for the kin of deceased persons, Rs. 50 Thousand for grievous injuries and Rs.25 Thousand in case of simple injuries. Statutory inquiry into this incident has been ordered to be conducted by Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS), South Central Circle, Shri Ram Kripal under the Ministry of Civil Aviation. He may visit the accident site later in the day.
Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhu rushed to the accident site along with Chairman Railway Board Shri AK Mital. Earlier, Member Rolling Stock Railway Board Shri Ravinder Gupta, Member Engineering Railway Board Shri Aditya Kumar Mittal rushed to the site.
Stranded passengers of the affected trains were later cleared towards their respective destinations through the unaffected portion of the train from Kuneru to Bhubaneswar via Rayagada - Sambalpur and 13 buses for short distance destinations like Brahmapur, Bhawanipatna, etc. The Railway Administration also arranged for water, tea, light snacks for the stranded passengers. Due to this accident, the traffic on Rayagada – Vizianagaram Section has been affected and Railways had to divert, short-terminate and cancel certain trains passing through this Section which are being notified by the respective Zonal Railways.
Senior Railway officials including General Manager, East Coast Railway Shri Umesh Singh and Divisional Railway Manager, Waltair Division Smt. Chandralekha Mukherjee are camping at the site to monitor the relief and rescue operations. Helpline Numbers were setup at the important stations along the route of the train.