Negligence caused UP train mishap: Officials

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 21 Aug 2017 10:25:39



An audio clip of a conversation between a railway employee and a mediaperson, in which the former claimed that ‘negligence’ led to the tragedy has gone vira AUTHORITIES on Sunday admitted to negligence and groundlevel lapses that may have derailed the Kalinga Utkal Express train in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday evening claiming 22-24 lives.

Even as a probe to know the exact cause of the train disaster began, a criminal complaint was lodged against unknown people for causing deaths by negligence. Mohd Jamshed from the Railway Board told the media in New Delhi that lapses in maintenance work being carried out on the track could have caused the accident involving the speeding train at Khatauli in Muzaffarnagar district. “We did a site inspection. Some track maintenance equipment used for repairs were found at the accident site (apparently left behind by workers),” Jamshed said.

He said the railways were probing the disaster from all angles and a case had been registered for “causing damage or destruction of railway properties formischief,fordeathbynegligence, for causing grievous hurt, injuring lives by overlooking safety”. Theofficial saidauthoritieswould look into possible sabotage and whether‘allprecautionswere taken’ while the repair work was on. Another railway official requesting anonymity said it appeared that negligence was the prima facie reason for the tragedy.

At Khatauli, angry locals accused the railways of gross negligence. According to them, workers repairing the tracks left mid-way because of heavy rains, leaving equipment on the tracks. To worsen the situation, the local railway station manager claimed he had no idea of the work carried out on the tracks. In the process, the train driver was not alerted to the danger. In New Delhi, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said responsibility for the disaster will be fixed on the strength of prima facie evidence.

The Kalinga Utkal Express was on its way from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand when 14 coaches derailed at Khatauli. The accident was so severe that someofthederailedcoachesmountedonothers. Senior Superintendent of Police Anant Deo told IANS that 22 people had died: 20 in Muzaffarnagardistrictandoneeach inhospitalsinGhaziabadandMeerut where they had been taken by their families.

All but two of them had been identified. Over150injuredwerebeingtreated in Muzaffarnagar and Meerut. But Jamshed said earlier that 20peoplewerekilledand92injured, 22 critically. ANOTHERRAILMISHAPINUP,ONE AVERTED AFTER DERAILMENT: EVEN as the railways are investigating into the Utkal Express derailment in Muzaffarnagar, two other incidents in Uttar Pradesh divulged security failure of the railways inthe State on Sunday.

A report from Kanpur Dehat said amajorrailmishapwasavertedwhen the tracks were found fractured between Malasa and Pukhraya stations on Kanpur-Jhansi route. The driver of the PratapgarhBhopal express train observed the fractured track at around 1.30 am at midnightonSaturdaynightandhad put emergency brake to stop the train. Later, the track was repaired and trains were passed on slow speed. Due to this incident, severaltrains were detained at different stations. Meanwhile, in another incident, Bapudham Express collided with a truckonanunmannedrailwaycrossing in Shahjahanpur district on Sunday in which the driver of the truck died on the spot.