Medak, India: 18 students & two others killed in crossing collision

24 Jul

18 students,the bus driver and another adult were killed and many others suffered severe injuries when a school bus was hit by a train at an unmanned level crossing in Masaipet village, Medak District, Telengana at about 09.10 on july 24th, 2014.

Residents of Masaipet have alleged that works to upgrade the level crossing on which the accident occurred had been completed, but Indian Railways who had for a long time failed to deploy staff to operate the crossing. This issue had repeatedly been raised with railway management.Whatever the situation before the collision the South Central Railway division of Indian Railways has completed installation of a barrier and cleared vegetation that obstructed the bus driver’s sighting of the approaching train.

However, Railway Minister D V Sadanada Gowda made a statement in the Indian Parliament that the accident took place due to negligent driving by the driver of the school bus. Mr Gowda went on to say that the driver did not stop the bus at the Stop Board just before the level crossing to check for the approaching train as prescribed in the Motors Vehicle Act.

Mr Gowda also said visibility at this relatively low density unmanned level crossing was clear from all sides and basic infrastructure such as road signs, speed breakers, whistle boards and proper approach roads was in place.

The collision resulted in the train dragging the bus for some distance with recovery of the bodies hampered by several hundred-strong local people venting their frustration by throwing stones at police who baton charged in response. The disturbance was triggered by demands that the State’s Chief Minister attend the scene of the accident and that those responsible for the state of the level crossing are appropriately challenged and account for the loss of life.

A father died of a heart attack triggered by the news that two of his children had been killed in the crossing collision.

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