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ICICI Lombard Expert Blog
 

2 Deaths Every 3 Days in Last 8 Years Due to Train Accidents

March 20 2017
Train Accidents

Frequent train accidents have been in the news for some time now. While most of us may believe the reason to be sabotage, the truth is far from it. An investigation into 1,018 consequential train accidents in the past eight years has revealed that only 4.7% of the total was caused by sabotage.

The findings state that a total of 1,940 lives were lost (2 deaths in every 3 days) due to these accidents and 3,200 passengers were injured. 4.7%, which means only 48 of the total 1,018 accidents were caused by sabotage, 42% (or 426 accidents) were due to ‘failure of other than railway staff’, and the largest share of 44% were caused by ‘failure of railway staff’.

44% is an alarming figure not only because it accounts for most of the deaths but also because it says that the failures occurred due to a huge shortage of railway staff. It has been observed that derailment is the major factor responsible for train accidents. Most derailments happen near the welding section of the tracks. Trackmen, patrolmen, pointmen, station masters and technicians are the people responsible for the safe running of trains. They fall under the ‘safety category’, which is severely understaffed with more than 1.27 lakh posts vacant as of last year.

The frequencies of trains are being increased and new routes added every year, but new employees aren’t. This has resulted in the existing staff being overworked, with some of them working for 15 hours a day. The lack of proper training, overworked employees and shortage of staff has turned out to be a recipe for disaster.

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