In one of the worst accidents, six teenaged boys, all between 14 and 16, who were walking on railway track with earphones on, were run over by a speeding train in Uttar Pradesh’s Hapur district late on Sunday night. A seventh boy is critically injured.
According to local residents, the boys were cooks and were supposed to take a train from Ghaziabad to Hyderabad on a work assignment. They, however, missed the train and were returning home when the tragedy struck them.
According to the police, their homes in Saddiqpura locality of Pilkhuwa in Hapur district were close to the tracks and they were apparently taking a shortcut after de-boarding an unspecified passenger train.
According to local residents, these seven boys realized a little late that a train was approaching fast on the same track that they were walking on. All of them jumped over to another adjacent track and were hit by another fast-approaching train from the opposite direction.
Five of them died on the spot while one succumbed to his injuries in hospital. The deceased have been identified as Salim, Ajay, Arif, Sameer, Aakash and Rahul. A seventh youth, also named Rahul, is admitted in the district hospital and continues to be serious.
A local resident, who was one of the first persons to reach the spot, told news agencies that it was pitch dark on the tracks and he could only hear the shrieks of the boys. A lot of people rushed towards the site only to find them lying in a pool of blood.
Pilkhuwa station officer Ashwani Kumar said, “The only eyewitness to the incident is the seventh boy who is still critical and unconscious. Hopefully, he will regain consciousness by Tuesday and will be able to provide us with authentic details of what actually happened.”
Northern Railway public relations officer Nitin Chaudhary said, “The unfortunate incident occurred late on Sunday night at a stretch where visibility is low. These boys were walking on the tracks. When they spotted a fast moving train, they crossed over to another track and because of the loud noise of the already passing train they did not realize that another one was coming from opposite direction. Besides, the train with which accident took place had a long hood engine where driver can see signals and objects at a long distance on the tracks but not the immediate obstruction due to bulk of body at the front. In any case, both the trains were at a high speed.”
According to sub divisional magistrate Meenu Rana, “We are ascertaining the financial condition of the families and all possible help will be provided to the kin of the deceased.”