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Accidents on Indian Railways    

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Accidents on the Railways of India

Indian Railways

The railways that criss-cross the Indian subcontinent stretch for more than 62,000 route kilometres. Carrying in excess of 11 million passengers and hauling a million tonnes of freight each day, Indian Railways provides the principle mode of transport in the country.

Accidents on the network are frequent, exceeding 300 per year. However, this can be seen in the context of the massive scale of the operation. In the year 1996-97, the actual accident rate was 0.51 per million kilometres. This notwithstanding, when accidents do happen they can be catastrophic in their toll of human life. This has provoked public concern over safety.

Many recommendations that are made following accidents are not implemented due to a lack of investment. However, Indian Railways has spent huge sums on improving the network. This however is perceived as being spent on visible items such as new rolling stock rather than on low-profile, but essential safety measures.

An accident near the northern city of Agra in July involving the Grand Trunk Express prompted calls for the resignation of the Railways minister.

Indian Railway Accident Rate




Level Crossing accidents

Fire in trains


Train accidents per million train Km.















+ Includes 1 accident on Metro railway.
* Includes 1 accident on Metro Railway and 3 on Konkan Railway.

Source: Indian Railways

Chronology of Major Accidents on Indian Railways since 1985

  • February 23, 1985: About 50 people are charred to death as two bogies of a passenger train catch fire near Rajnandgaon in Madhya Pradesh.
  • June 13, 1985: 38 people killed and about 50 injured as an express train collides with a goods train in Agra.
  • March 10, 1986: About 50 people killed and 200 injured as two trains collide at Khagaria in Bihar.
  • August 6, 1986: 52 people killed and 35 injured as two coaches of an express train fall into a stream after colliding with a stationary goods train in Palamau district of Bihar.
  • July 8, 1987: 53 die as Dakshin Express derails near Macherial in Andhra Pradesh.
  • July 8, 1988: 107 people die as Island Express plunges into Ashtamudi lake in Kerala.
  • April 18, 1989: 75 people killed as Karnataka Express derails near Lalitpur in Uttar Pradesh.
  • November 1, 1989: 48 people killed as Udyan Abha Toofan Express derails at Sakaldiha in Bihar.
  • April 16, 1990: 70 people burnt alive as a shuttle train catches fire near Patna.
  • June 6, 1990: 36 people killed in a collision at Gollaguda in Andhra Pradesh.
  • June 25, 1990: 60 killed as a goods train rams into a passenger train at Mangra in Daltongunj in Bihar.
  • October 10, 1990: 40 people killed in a fire in a passenger train near Cherpalli in Andhra Pradesh.
  • October 31, 1991: 30 killed as Karnataka Express derails near Makaligurga in Karnataka.
  • September 5, 1992: 41 people killed in a collision near Raigarh in Madhya Pradesh.
  • July 16, 1993: 60 killed in an accident in Darbhanga district of Bihar.
  • September 21, 1993: 71 killed as Kota-Bina passenger train collides with a goods train near Chhabra in Rajasthan.
  • May 3, 1994: 35 people killed as Narayanadri Express rams into a tractor in Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh.
  • May 14, 1995: 52 people killed as Madras-Kanyakumari Express collides with a goods train near Salem.
  • June 1, 1995: 73 killed in two accidents in West Bengal and Orissa.
  • August 20, 1995: 302 killed as Delhi-bound Purushottam Express rams into a stationary Kalindi Express near Firozabad in Uttar Pradesh.
  • April 18, 1996: 60 killed as Gorakhpur-Gonda passenger train rams into a stationary goods train at Domingarh near Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh.
  • May 14, 1996: 35 of a marriage party killed as bus carrying them collides with the Ernakulam-Kayamkulam train at an unmanned level-crossing near Alappuzha in Kerala.
  • May 25, 1996: 25 killed as an Allahabad-bound passenger train rams into a tractor-trolley at an unmanned level crossing near Varanasi.
  • December 30, 1996: 33 killed in a bomb blast on the Brahmaputra Mail between Kokrajhar and Fakiragram stations in lower Assam.
  • July 8, 1997: 33 killed in bomb blast on a passenger train at Lehra Khanna railway station in Punjab's Bhatinda district.
  • July 28, 1997: 12 killed in a collision between Karnataka Express and Himsagar Express near Faridabad at the outskirts of New Delhi.
  • September 14, 1997: At least 81 killed as five bogies of Ahmedabad-Howrah express plunge into a river in Bilaspur district of Madhya Pradesh.
  • April 24, 1998: 24 killed and 32 injured at Parali Vaijanath (Beed) railway station in Madhya Pradesh as 15 wagons of a goods train ram into the Manmad-Kachiguda Express.
  • April 4 1998: At least 11 people killed near Fatuha station on Howrah-Delhi main line as Howrah-Danapur Express derails between Ratuha and Bankaghat stations.
  • August 13, 1998: 19 people killed and 27 injured as a bus rams into the Chennai-Madurai express train at an unmanned level-crossing on the New Karur-Salem bypass road on the outskirts of Karur town. Danger Ahead Currents Danger Ahead Currents
  • September 24, 1998: 20 people including 14 school children killed and 33 injured when a train engine rams into an Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation bus at an unmanned level-crossing near Bottalapalem village in Andhra Pradesh.
  • November 26, 1998: At least 108 people die as Jammu Tawi-Sealdah express rams into three derailed bogies of Amritsar-bound Frontier Golden Temple Mail near Ludhiana. Danger Ahead Currents
  • July 16, 1999: 17 killed and over 200 injured as Delhi-bound Grand Trunk Express from Chennai collides with derailed wagons of a goods train near Mathura. Danger Ahead Currents

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This file last updated: Monday, 02-Aug-1999 20:36:17 EDT
Copyright © David Fry 1999