Posts Tagged ‘hyderabad’

INDIA: 32 die in Electrical Fire on Train

HYDERABAD, INDIA:   Thirty-two people were killed yesterday when fire ripped through a coach of an overnight express train carrying sleeping passengers from New Delhi to the southern city of Chennai.  An electrical short circuit was thought to be the most likely cause of the tragedy on the long-distance service, which happened in the early hours of the morning near the town of Nellore in Andhra Pradesh state.

Dozens of rescuers and survivors, together with a crowd of onlookers, watched as the blackened and twisted bodies of victims, some burnt beyond recognition, were carried out of the train and laid in rows alongside the railway line.  Relatives of the victims wailed and screamed, while dazed survivors sat quietly.  “I woke up when people were rushing into our compartment,” said a passenger called Shantanu. “I was in S-10, which was attached to the S-11 coach that caught fire. There was smoke all around. We tried to open the emergency window. People jumped out of it.” The central government’s press office said that 32 people had lost their lives and 25 were injured. It added that families of the deceased would be offered 500,000 rupees (Dh33,000) compensation.

Nellore’s chief district official, B Sreedhar, said that preliminary investigations suggested a short circuit near a toilet had started the electrical fire.  The railway minister, Mukul Roy, said an investigation was underway. “Nothing can be excluded and nothing can be said without an investigation,” he added, shortly before rescuers completed their search for bodies, which had lasted almost 12 hours.  The train was travelling at 110 kilometres per hour when it went through Nellore station, where staff noticed the fire and informed railway authorities. The burning carriage was quickly detached from the rest of the train which prevented the fire spreading.

The prime minister, Manmohan Singh, sent his condolences and has asked the national railways ministry to coordinate the relief effort, his office said.  India’s accident-prone rail network remains the country’s main form of long-distance travel, despite fierce competition from airlines. While new airport infrastructure is appearing, Indian railways – a much-romanticised legacy of British colonial rule – often appear stuck in a time-warp.  There were two fatal accidents in May this year alone. A collision killed 25 people near the southern city of Bangalore andf our people died when a train derailed in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

In March, Dinesh Trivedi, the railway minister, unveiled a draft budget for 2012-13 that included a major safety upgrade financed by across-the-board fare hikes. He was forced to withdraw it and resign after a rebellion by his own party, the Trinamool Congress, which objected to increasing ticket prices for the poorest travellers. Figures from the National Crime Records Bureau, which gathers the causes of fatalities across India, reveal that in 2009, 25,705 people died on the railways. The vast majority involved people falling from the open doors of carriages or being hit on the tracks.  India’s worst rail accident was in 1981 when a train plunged into a river in the eastern state of Bihar, killing an estimated 800 people.

Story via The National

Boy Shocked & Burned While Kite Flying

January 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Venkatesh Shocked & Burned While Flying Kites.

HYDERABAD, INDIA – Radha was still in a state of shock sitting beside her elder son Venkatesh, lying in bed with severe burns in Osmania General Hospital. She could not believe her son had been so close to death.

Controlling her tears, Radha said, “I was away on work when I came to know about the incident.

I thought it to be a minor one but was shocked to see my son in charred condition,” adding, “Luckily my son did not fall on the other side of the building or else I would not have seen him alive.”

Venkatesh, a class VI student was enjoying a kite fight along with his friends, from the terrace of his two-storeyed building, when he saw a cut-off kite coming towards them. 14-year-old Venkatesh did not realise that the kite had got entangled in high tension wires. In an attempt to grab the kite, Venkatesh tried to pull the stuck kite and got electrocuted. [ note – the word “electrocuted” in improperly used here and it should be “shocked”.  Click on the link for definition of “electrocuted“.]

His four friends, including three boys and a girl, suffered minor burns due to the flames that came out from his clothes.

The high frequency current pushed the boy away, causing a head injury. He fell back on the terrace, unconscious in a pool of blood. Hearing the alarm raised by other children, locals gathered in no time. Knowing about her son’s accident, Radha rushed and shifted her son to hospital. Doctors declared he had suffered 32 percent burns with his lower abdomen fully burnt.

Story via

See related story on kite flying and the dangers of Chinese made kite string that is electrically conductive.
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Lineman Killed in India While Conducting Repairs to Power Cables

November 6, 2010 1 comment

HYDERABAD, INDIA – Angry villagers manhandled an Assistant Engineer and ransacked a A P Discom substation at Vajrapukothur mandal in Srikakulam district on Saturday, after a lineman was killed while conducting repair works atop an electricity pole.

According to Sub-Inspector Nancharaiah, the lineman Tadi Lokanadham (26) had climbed on the pole to repair power cables. He had alerted the sub-station about the works to be carried out, and had got the power shut off.

Even as he was working on solving the problem, the power was restored, and Lokanadham was electrocuted. He died on the spot.

Villagers blamed the Discom officials for being negligent, and marched to the sub-station. They manhandled the AE and ransacked the furniture there. The villagers then staged a dharna before the sub-station, demanding cases to be booked against the negligent officials, as well as compensation for the lineman’s family.

Police arrived on the scene and placated the villagers.

Lokanadham’s body has been sent for postmortem. Further investigations are on.

Story via