Visakhapatnam: A major tragedy was averted after Secunderabad-Visakhapatnam Duronto Express hit a Tata Ace vehicle which was stuck on the track at the railway level crossing at Bhimadolu in Eluru district of Andhra Pradesh on Thursday.
The accident occurred around 3 a.m. when the driver of the Tata Ace vehicle tried to speed away after ramming into the crossing gate which was closed for the road traffic. As the vehicle got stuck on the track and the train was approaching, those in Tate Ace got down and escaped.
The locomotive of the Duronto Express was damaged and broke down after hitting the vehicle. The accident affected the movement of trains between Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam.
On receipt of information, senior railway officials with a team of mechanics rushed to the spot to repair the locomotive. They had to later arrange an alternative locomotive.
The Duronto Express resumed its journey after a delay of six hours. Many passengers got down at the accident site and left for their destination by other modes of transport.
It is suspected that the vehicle hit the railway gate when it was being chased by the police. Suspected cattle thieves in the vehicle were moving in the area when they noticed a police vehicle and tried to escape by ramming into the railway gate. As their vehicle broke down on the track, they got down and escaped.
Railway police have registered a case and began an investigation. They in coordination with the local police were trying to identify those travelling in Tata Ace.
Duronto Express, which left Secunderabad around 8.30 p.m. on Wednesday, was scheduled to reach Visakhapatnam at 6.25 a.m. on Thursday. It is now likely to reach the destination around 2 p.m., a delay of seven-and-half hours.