Train Drivers Watching Cricket on Phone Led to Fatal October Crash in Andhra Pradesh: Railway Minister

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The fatal train accident in Andhra Pradesh in October 2023, resulting in 14 deaths and over 50 injuries, was attributed to the train driver and assistant driver being distracted by watching a cricket match on a mobile phone, according to Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.

The collision occurred between the Rayagada Passenger train and the Visakhapatnam-Palasa passenger train on the Howrah-Chennai line in Kantakapalli, Vizianagaram district. Survivors reported sudden jerks as the train applied brakes before the collision.

Notably, the Rayagada Passenger train had hit the Visakhapatnam Palasa train from behind at 7 pm that day on the Howrah-Chennai line in Kantakapalli in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh. 

In response to this incident, the Railways is taking measures to prevent distractions, installing systems that detect such distractions, ensuring train operators remain fully focused. A preliminary railway probe had previously found the driver and assistant driver of the Rayagada Passenger train responsible for the collision for passing two defective auto signals.

Both crew members were among those who lost their lives. The official report by the Commissioners of Railway Safety (CRS) is still awaited, and the Railways remains committed to safety, investigating root causes, and implementing preventive measures.

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