Tragedy Strikes: Water Tank Collapse at Burdwan Railway Station Claims Lives

Disaster Unfolds at Burdwan Railway Station

In a tragic turn of events, an overhead water tank collapsed on platforms 2 and 3 of Burdwan Railway Station in West Bengal, resulting in three fatalities and over 30 injuries. The incident occurred as passengers awaited a local train, prompting swift rescue efforts by authorities.

Rapid Response amidst Chaos

Local police received reports of the water tank collapse around 12:30 pm. Superintendent of Police (Purba Bardhaman) Amandeep stated that preliminary rescue operations were immediately initiated by the Government Railway Police (GRP) and Railway Protection Force (RPF), with support from local police and civil defence forces. Despite the efforts, three lives were lost, and the injured were rushed to Burdwan Medical College and Hospital.

Preliminary Findings Point to Poor Maintenance

Sources suggest that the water tank, constructed with corrugated metal sheets, collapsed due to inadequate maintenance. A senior police officer highlighted that the situation could have been more catastrophic if the tank had been made of concrete. The incident unfolded just before the arrival of a local train, leading to the diversion of the approaching train to another platform, averting further casualties.

Identification of the Deceased

The victims were identified as Sonaram Tudu (19), a resident of Pakur in Jharkhand; Kranti Kumar (17) of Sahebgunj in Purba Bardhaman; and Mafuja Khatun (35) of Lakuddi, Purba Bardhaman. Many of the injured were passengers waiting under the platform shed.

Compensation and Investigation

The railways promptly announced compensation, with Rs 5 lakh for the kin of the deceased, Rs 50,000 for the seriously injured, and Rs 5,000 for those with minor injuries. A three-member committee has been formed to investigate the incident. An FIR has been registered, and railway officials are in contact with the injured for statements to aid the investigation.

Concerns over Safety and Maintenance

This unfortunate incident raises concerns about safety and maintenance, echoing questions about a safety audit for Burdwan railway station. Notably, in January 2020, a portion of the Burdwan Railway Station collapsed, prompting scrutiny and highlighting the need for comprehensive safety assessments.

Political Reactions and Disputes

The incident has spurred a war of words between the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The TMC accuses the railways of insufficient maintenance, while the BJP dismisses the allegations, urging a thorough investigation by the railways.

A Call for Safety Vigilance

As the investigation unfolds, this tragic incident at Burdwan Railway Station underscores the critical importance of regular safety audits and diligent maintenance practices. It serves as a poignant reminder of the need for comprehensive measures to prevent such disasters in our railway infrastructure.

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