Kalinga-Utkal Express Derailment: Taking initial action, Indian Railways on Sunday suspended its four officials following the derailment of the Kalinga Utkal Express that killed 23 passengers.
Kalinga-Utkal Express Derailment: Taking initial action, Indian Railways on Sunday suspended its four officials following the derailment of the Kalinga Utkal Express that killed 23 passengers, ANI reports. Along with four suspensions, one official has been transferred, while DRM Delhi and GM Northern Railway have been sent on leave. A Junior Engineer (Permanent Way), a Senior Section Engineer (Permanent Way), an Assistant Engineer and a Senior Divisional Engineer have been suspended on the basis of a prima facie evidence, IANS quoting a Railway Ministry statement said. In the ghastly accident, fourteen coaches of the train derailed on Saturday evening at Khatauli in Muzaffarnagar district in Uttar Pradesh. IANS reports that 23 people have been killed so far, while more than 150 people were injured.
Railway officials admitted that negligence by its staff was to blame for the disaster. Earlier, speaking to news agency PTI, a top railway ministry official said that an audio clip of a purported conversation, in which the former claimed that “negligence” led to yesterday’s tragedy in Khatauli, will be probed by ministry. In the clip, the official can be heard saying that the Railways staff apparently posted at a crossing near the accident site may have done “poor patrolling” on the track where maintenance work was underway, PTI reports.
“Welding work was underway at a section of the railway track… but the workers did not fix the block of the track and left it loose. Gates near the crossing were closed. A piece (of the track) was not fixed and when the Utkal Express arrived, 14 of its coaches got derailed,” he is heard saying, PTI reports. Railways has ordered a probe to ascertain the exact cause of the accident. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had directed Railway Board chairman to fix responsibility on “prima facie evidence by the end of day”. Earlier, PTI reported that the railway ministry initiated measures like inducting modern coaches, creating a safety fund as well as incorporating new technology to not only plug accidents due to derailments. A key step was introduction of sophisticated Linke Hofman Busch (LHB) coaches. “These (LHB) coaches have anti-climbing features and provision of superior braking and lesser chances of uncoupling of coaches in case of accidents,” the official said.