Sainthia train collision

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Sainthia train collision
B Id 163536 Bengal train.jpg
The accident
Date19 July 2010
Time02:00 (IST, UTC+05:30)
LocationSainthia railway station, Sainthia, Birbhum, West Bengal
OperatorIndian Railways
Incident typeRear-end collision
Rescue work in progress near the accident site

The Sainthia train collision occurred on 19 July 2010, at Sainthia railway station in West Bengal, India, when the Uttar Banga Express[1][2][3] collided with the Vananchal Express as it was leaving the platform. 66 people died as a result of the accident,[4] and 165 people were reported injured.[5]


The collision occurred 191 km from Howrah at 02:00 am (IST) when the Uttar Banga Express, travelling from New Cooch Behar to Sealdah, hit the BhagalpurRanchi Vananchal Express which was just leaving Sainthia railway station. The impact destroyed the three rear compartments of the Vananchal Express.

Injured people were sent to hospitals in Sainthia and Suri.[5] A need for much faster response to such accidents has been expressed by the Home Minister.[6]


Railway officials initially described how there may have been something wrong with the drivers of the Uttar Banga Express, detailing how the train had passed through a red signal at high speed, with no evidence of a brake application and with no apparent attempt by the driver or co-driver to jump clear of the train cab before the collision. Both were found dead in the wreckage, still in their seats.[7] The possibility of the two drivers of Uttar Banga Express being drugged had triggered alarm in the railways.[8] However, the post mortem of the drivers at the Suri hospital did not show any evidence of drugs.[9] As a precaution, drivers and guards have been asked not to buy any food or drink at stations.[8]

Sainthia railway station was a scheduled stop for the express, but the train is believed to have passed over a bridge 1.2 km before the accident at three times the line speed.[10] The crew had taken charge of the train at Malda five hours before the accident, and had appeared fit and well to station staff during a previous unscheduled stop at Gadadharpur, 7 km ahead of the accident site.[11] The signalman in-charge at the station claimed to have heard the station master trying to alert the driver of the Uttar Banga Express via walkie-talkie, but got no response.[12]

The enquiry has found no fault with the train's brakes[10] although, the guard, when questioned said that he had applied the emergency brake after the driver did not respond to him on the walkie-talkie, but the brake failed.[13] Also there was no signal failure, the approach signal was red.[10] Probable causal factors found are the drugging of the drivers and not setting a diversion route when the Vananchal Express was standing at the platform.[8] It was too late to operate points and divert the train when the Uttar Banga Express was seen.[11]

The driver of the Vananchal Express, said that "even though the green signal was given at 1.54am, we could start the train only at 2.01am because we had not received any signal from the guard".[8]


Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced compensation of a total of Rs 500,000 for the dead, 100,000 for the seriously injured, and Rs 25,000 for minor injuries.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Partha Majumdar, Priyanka Ray. "Press Availability Information". Retrieved 21 July 2010.
  2. ^ S.Saha. "Train accident in Sainthia, West Bengal: Many dead,70 Injured".
  3. ^ "7 DAYS AVAILABILITY INFORMATION". Retrieved 21 July 2010.
  4. ^ Sainthia train mishap toll rises to 66Rediff News, 20 July 2010
  5. ^ a b 61 dead in India train crash
  6. ^ Blame game still on over Sainthia train crash IBN Live, 21 July 2010
  7. ^ Railways blame human error for mishap Hindustan Times, 19 July 2010
  8. ^ a b c d Diversion system not activated Duo on duty ‘booked off’ The Telegraph, 22 July 2010
  9. ^ Train accident probe focuses on drivers Asia News Network, 21 July 2010
  10. ^ a b c Railway grapples with driver riddle The Telegraph, 19 July 2010
  11. ^ a b West Bengal train collision: A 9-min, 7-km mystery Hindustan Times, 21 July 2010
  12. ^ Bengal train accident: 'Station master tried to alert driver' NDTV, 21 July 2010
  13. ^ Uttarbanga Express guard says emergency brake failed Hindustan Times, 22 July 2010
  14. ^ Rs 5 lakh, job to kin of dead in accident: Mamata Times of India, 19 July 2010

External links[edit]