NEWS > EVERYONE ELSE > INDIA ENDS TWO DAY TRAIN CRASH FREE STREAK WITH DEADLY ACCIDENT
INDIA ENDS TWO DAY TRAIN CRASH FREE STREAK WITH DEADLY ACCIDENT
July 10 2011
Lucknow, India – Despite having used motorized transport for well over a hundred years we still have not mastered the craft. Truth be told, all forms of mechanized transport, whether with horses or internal combustion engines, have always provided
challenges to human safety and well-being. Anytime a large group of people crowd into a confined area being propelled at high speed there is the potential for problems. Even today as we communicate with people all over the world and travel into space, truly safe travel is still something of a dream.
There is probably no place in the world where that is more of an issue than in India. In a country with a billion and half people, a great deal of poverty, limited rules on public safety, and an almost non-existent transportation infrastructure crashes are the norm rather than the exception. In any city in India there is rarely a day without dozens of accidents involving cars or buses. That is just the reality of life in that country. It isn’t just the streets of India that are accident prone however, in fact the rail system is arguably much more dangerous with accidents routine across the country. That became evident in a new crash in Uttar Pradesh which has killed dozens of travellers and stopped the train crash accident-free streak dead in its tracks.
“At this stage we are not sure of the cause of the crash. Emergency personnel are on the scene and attempting the recover as many people as possible. At this stage we
have 31 people dead but we expect that number to increase as time goes on,” said a government spokesperson. “We will be conducting an investigation once recovery has been completed. We are all very dismayed at this incident as we had gone so long without an accident. We pray for the victims and their families.”
The streak, one of the longest in history, hit two days. At least four emergency workers were killed on their way to scene.
“The reality of India is that there are too many people and not nearly enough money. The bulk of people don’t pay taxes yet use the public systems. If they put money into the coffers, which they can’t do because they are poor, massive improvements to infrastructure could be affected. Right now burden is in reverse that is inevitably going to result in tragedy,” said Scrape TV Transportation analyst Kenneth King. “Without money to improve roads and rails these types of accidents are going to occur. That money isn’t going to come about until people start getting jobs and paying taxes which most people can’t do because they are constantly being killed in accidents. It’s a real-life Catch-22 situation that is probably only going to get worse. More people are coming onto the scene everyday and the system is just getting more and more worn down.”
India is expected to overtake China as the most populated country in the world in a few years.
“What that means is more accidents. We know people aren’t going to suddenly stop travelling even if they realize that they are taking their lives into their hands every time they go outside. People need to move and they will do that in safety if they can, or on a flying death train if necessary. People don’t just stop moving because the trains do, as some people find out the hard way,” continued King. “Frankly, I don’t think we’ll see many more safety streaks like this. It’s probably only going to get worse in the future and we’ll see virtually every train crash or fly off the tracks at some point. Thus is life in India.”
There have been no further accidents in the hours since the Uttar Pradesh crash.
Emil Uliya, International Correspondent