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Dense Fog In North India; Power, Rail, Air Services Go Haywire

PTI January 02, 2010 15:11 IST

Several parts in north India faced power cuts in the wee hours of the day as a thick blanket of fog engulfed the region reducing visibility, leading to three train accidents and severely affecting air traffic.

The fog, which was termed by the Met department as most intense during the season, reduced visibility to as low as 50 metres this morning.

About 35 lines of Northern Grid tripped around 3.02 am following problems in disc isolators, resulting in power failure in areas in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir.

Areas like Rithala, Shalimar Bagh and many localities in North Delhi plunged into darkness in the wee hours due to the problem. Technical teams of Northern Grid and Delhi Transco are working to restore the lines, a Transco official said.

The low visibility apparently caused three separate rail accidents involving five passenger trains in Uttar Pradesh, killing 10 persons and injuring about 40 others.

Flight operations at IGI airport here came to a standstill this morning due to the fog and a cable glitch. No flight could take off or land for eight hours as runway visibility dropped to 100 metres and general visibility to less 50 metres. At least 36 domestic and international flights were affected.

The Bhiwani-Gorakhpur Gorakhdham Express hit the stationary Prayagraj Express at Panki railway station in Kanpur district at around 9:00 a.m. The Delhi-Allahabad Prayagraj Express was at the station when the Gorakhdham Express hit it due to dense fog.

In another accident, Licchavi Express rammed into the stationary Magadh Express at Sarai Bhopat near Etawah in Uttar Pradesh at around 8:00 a.m.

A third train accident occurred near Allahabad due to fog involving Sarju Express and a trolley. There was no casualty.

Chaotic scenes were witnessed at the IGI airport here as four domestic flights were cancelled, 13 coming from abroad diverted due to poor visibility and 19 domestic flights rescheduled. The flights, however, started taking off and landing from around 1030 hours.

"Today's fog is most dense in this season so far. The visibility came down to 50 metres," the Weatherman said.

The Met office attributed the intense fog to condensation and said the fog condition is expected tomorrow also. PTI