Search This Blog

Saturday, June 3, 2023

gory accident involving Coromandel Exp - Pray for departed and injured

It is extremely saddening and grief to read gory details of train accident yesterday and loss of precious lives ! Prayers to the departed soul and for speedy recovery of those injured.  Appreciations to those warriors (common men) who are rendering rescue work, donating blood and taking steps for helping those injured – great humans, we salute them ! 

Though hundreds of photos of the gory accident  are circulating on the net – chose not to post any of those but a representative photo of a train.  

Train journeys are expected to be  enjoyable ~ one can sit down, relax, chat with fellow-passengers, look outside the window seeing landscapes, trees running behind – see a bowler running in, though would never know the fate of that ball, still hung head to see the match, read books and more ..  

Shalimar railway station is one of five intercity railway stations serving Howrah and Kolkata.   Shalimar station is situated at Shalimar, in Shibpur area of Howrah. It is one of the cleanest, well-maintained and non-congested railway terminals in the Kolkata Metropolitan Area. This place is in news .. .. more so, Balasore.  The spot of the crash is a little before Bahanaga Bazar station in Odisha’s Balasore district, which is part of the Kharagpur railway division of South Eastern Railway.  According to newspaper reports, 3  trains were involved — two passenger trains going in opposite directions, and a goods train that was stationary.  

The first train, the 12841 Coromandel Express, had started from Shalimar station in Kolkata/Howrah and was headed to Chennai. It had crossed Kharagpur and Balasore, and its next stop would have been Bhadrak. The train was running almost exactly on time, and would have crossed Bahanaga Bazar (without stopping) at 7.01 pm.  

Sadly, very sadly, more than 270 people are reportedly dead with injuries to much higher no. of passengers.  It is stated that some  coaches of the Chennai-bound Coromandel Express derailed and fell on an adjacent track in the path of another train from Yeswanthpur to Howrah near Balasore in Odisha late last night. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today inspected the site of the accident and took stock of the relief and restoration operations. He also paid a visit to a hospital in Balasore and met with the injured victims. Later, in an interaction with the media, the PM said that the “government will leave no stone unturned for the treatment of the injured” and “those responsible for the accident will be severely punished.”   

A massive rescue operation is underway at the accident site in Bahanaga Bazar near Balasore to retrieve people trapped in the derailed coaches. This is considered one of the deadliest train crashes in India in recent times. Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw ordered for a high-level probe into the incident and announced an ex gratia payment of Rs 10 lakh in case of death, Rs 2 lakh for the grievously injured and Rs 50,000 for those with minor injuries.   

Locomotive drivers are guided by signals, not so much by what they see on the tracks, especially in the dark. While details will be known after the inquiry, the Railways are looking at the possibility of a signalling error.  

Reports state that at the time Coromandel Exp  hit the goods train, a third train, the 12864 Sir M Visvesvaraya Terminal Bengaluru-Howrah Express, was going past on the adjacent Down main line, headed towards Howrah (in the opposite direction). Most of this train had already crossed the point of the accident when the Coromandel crashed into the goods train. However, the last few coaches were impacted. These derailed — either because they were hit by coaches of the Coromandel that toppled on to them, or because of the shock waves that could have passed through the ground and the tracks.  

Coromandel Express has been a premium train, a Super fast one with travel time of 25 & half hours – covering 1650 m with only 14 halts in between.  It is a daily train on the east coast of India between Shalimar, West Bengal, and MGR Chennai Central, Tamil Nadu. It is much faster tha Howrah Mail and hence preferred. The route of the train is across the eastern coast of India along the Bay of Bengal, called the Coromandel Coast,  giving the service its name.  Between  Vijayawada and Chennai, there are no halts and after Vijayawada till Vizag, it stops at Eluru and Rajahmundry.  It further halts at Brahmapur, Khurda Road, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Bhadrak, Balasore and Kharagpur. Five stops in Andhra Pradesh, seven in Odisha, two in West Bengal.

The train dates back to 1977 when it was  a bi-weekly train with  stops only at Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and Bhubaneswar and it used to bypass Cuttack and Khurda Road & Ongole were technical halts.  With some more halts added, the running time increased.  

The Coromandel Coast is the southeastern coastal region of the Indian subcontinent, bounded by the Utkal Plains,  Bay of Bengal, Kaveri delta  and the Eastern Ghats.  The coast has an average elevation of 80 metres and is backed by the Eastern Ghats, a chain of low lying and flat-topped hills. The land of the Chola dynasty was called Cholamandalam in Tamil, literally translated as "the realm of the Cholas", from which Coromandel is derived.   

Very sad that a gory accident claimed so many lives and let us pray for those dead and injured.
With sorrow – S. Sampathkumar
3rd June 2023. 


  1. Very pathetic and you have covered the incident in perfect way.
    B Venkatakrishnan

  2. Very Sad I travelled many times in the train. Twice to Howrah about 4 times to chennai and about five times from Rajuhmundry to vizag. Once we viisited Chennai from Hyderabad during first sunday of February 1980 to watch sholavaram races and after that we took same train to vizag. We enjoyed a lot in the train Still the journey is fresh in my memory after 44 years