Chhopra Bahas, India: 21 killed in manned crossing collision

22 Aug

India’s East Central Zonal Railway has established an inquiry team to establish the root cause of the accident that claimed 21 lives on a manned level crossing near Chhopra Bahas, East Champaran District, Bihar on August 18th, 2014.

The accident occurred at about 15.00 when a train travelling at 70kph struck an auto-rickshaw that had begun to cross the open to road traffic manned level crossing. All those killed were resident in the same village and had been attending a religious festival.

The crossing keeper fled the scene of the accident. Residents are now asserting that they had already alerted the railway to the crossing keeper’s lapses that had already seen a freight train pass over the crossing while the barriers remained raised and the crossing open to road traffic. This incident occurred about 30 minutes before the fatal accident.

The accident on which the fatal collision occurred is one of 56 manned crossings on the Muzaffarpur-Narkatiaganj rail corridor that are not inter-locked with the signalling system. The sole protection for road users is the vigilance of the crossing keeper who is advised by telephone of an approaching train.

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