Death toll reaches 145

Written by Shiv Sahay Singh | Sardiha | Updated: Jun 1 2010, 02:12am hrs
Nearly 50 hours after the ill-fated Jnaneswari Express got derailed between Sardiha and Khemashuli railway station, the number of casualties in the site has climbed to 145.

The last lot of bodies were recovered so far were late night on Saturday. Earlier, the number of people who died in the accident was recorded to be 141. With these parts the number of dead in the accident lies somewhere between 143-145. said Narayan Swaroop Nigam, DM West Midnapore.

The last lot of dead remains, four-five body parts were extricated from the badly-mangled S5 coach of the train at 10.30 pm. The coach was cut through gas cutters. The railway tracks were totally repaired at 1.50 pm. The overhead wire was fixed at 2.30 am and the first goods train arrived at the track at 3.15 am but it was allowed to pass only at 3.45 am.

We are keeping the speed limit of trains at 15 km per hour. Gradually, the speed will be increased to 100 km per hourthe usual speed of trains. said Dinesh Kumar, additional divisional railway manager

Kharagppur zone, overseeing the rescue operations at the accident site. Kumar also confirmed that for next two days no passenger train would pass from this route owing to the black week called by the Maoists in this area.

While the railway workmen tried to put things back in order, an unusual silence prevailed on Sunday afternoon with a foul smell emanating from the bogies. CRPF personnel had encircled the entire areaeven the road from NH 6 leading to the accident site.

An investigation into the incidents leading to the derailment of the train will be conducted by commissioner of railway saftey, Sudhayk Nayak from Monday. According to the railway authorities, the commissioner will investigate the damage caused to the tracks which led to the derailment and subsequently being hit by the goods train. He will also assess the rescue operations and any possible lapses on the part of local railway authorities.

Meanwhile, a CID team, headed by additional director general Raj Kanojia visited the site of the accident on Sunday. The enquiry is being headed by an officer of the rank of special IG. Today the tracks have been cleared but we arein our initial stage of investigations, Kanojia said. The team was at the site for more than an hour.