Two freight trains collide at Simdega, services interrupted for 24 hours | Ranchi News

Ranchi / Gumla: Train traffic between the busy Hatia-Bondamunda road, which connects Jharkhand and Odisha, was affected for nearly 24 hours after two freight trains collided head-on between Pakra and Kurkura stations in the district from Simdega late Saturday night.
The incident happened at around 9:36 p.m. on Saturday when a freight train loaded with iron ore, heading to the Bokaro steel plant from Rourkela, crashed into an empty freight train heading to Bondamunda station from Hatia station in Ranchi.
Due to the collision, the railways diverted the Allepy-Dhanbad Express, the Puri-Hatia Express, the Jammu Tawi-Sambalpur Express via Chandil and Muri. In a statement, the Ranchi Rail Division said the Hatia-Jharsuguda Memu and Rourkela-Hatia Memu passenger trains had been canceled. Vasco De Gama-Jasidih Express, Malda-Surat Express, Sambalpur-Benaras Express and Hatia-Yeshwantpur Express were also hijacked earlier today.
The impact was such that as many as 11 freight cars, called N-boxes in railway jargon, were damaged after derailing while three engines were damaged. The locomotive pilots and assistant locomotive pilots, identified as Ranjit Kumar and Sanjay Kumar (from the train loaded with iron ore) while Ashok Kumar Singh and Ranjit Kumar Rajak (from the empty train) escaped unharmed. The collision completely blocked rail movement on the 93 km stretch between Hatia and Bano stations.
Four giant cranes, weighing 140 tonnes each, were moved from Bondamunda and Hatia to the crash site to clear the wreckage and restore movement.
Senior officials from the Ranchi Rail Division of the Southeastern Railways rushed to the site to oversee the work of clearing the wreckage. The SER pressed a five-member investigative team on site to investigate the incident.
“A detailed investigation is underway to determine the cause of the collision as work is carried out on war footing to restore movement by 5 pm,” divisional operations director Aditya Kumar Choudhary told TOI. However, repairs were still underway until 7:30 p.m.
According to a preliminary assessment, the financial losses suffered by Indian Railways due to the collision are between 50 and 60 crore rupees. Each of the motors costs around Rs 20 crore, according to rail sources.
In May this year, the Hatia-Rourkela passenger train derailed on loose ground with 84 passengers after it rolled into a sip siding from the main line at Kanaroan station along the same route. In 2017, a loaded freight train backed up in the same section and crashed into another freight train, instantly killing two locomotive drivers.
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