Pukhrayan: The probe into the Indore-Patna Express derailment, that has claimed at least 146 lives, began
on Monday with Commissioner of Railway Safety PK Acharya visiting the accident site and inspecting the broken track and the mangled bogies.
"The commissioner of railway safety (eastern circle) reached the accident site and closely inspected the broken railway track and the damaged coaches," Deputy General Manager North Central Railway (NCR) Amit Mishra told PTI.
The entire inspection as well as the accident site was videographed. Railway engineers and technical staff were questioned in connection with the derailment by the railway safety commissioner, he said.
Mishra said people who were travelling in the train and have any information with regard to the accident, can share it with Acharya. He will be available at the Kanpur railway station from morning till evening on 22 and 23 November and will use the inputs while preparing the investigation report.
Acharya's visit to the site comes a day after deputy chief safety officer, Allahabad, Ram Surat Singh, wrote to the NCR about a "statutory enquiry" by the railway safety commissioner regarding the accident that took place between Pukhrayan-Malsa stations.
The letter, while seeking necessary logistics arrangement for the probe, said the inquiry will be held at the office of the deputy chief traffic manager (CTM), Kanpur Central Railway station on 22 and 23 November.
Earlier in the day, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu told Lok Sabha that a statutory inquiry by the commissioner of railway safety has been ordered to find the cause of the accident as he promised "strictest possible action" against the guilty. He also said latest technical and forensic analysis will be used for a thorough investigation.
Fourteen coaches of Indore-Patna Express derailed in Kanpur Dehat in the wee hours of Sunday due to suspected rail fracture. The commissioner of railway safety comes under the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
At least 146 people have been killed and around 200 others injured, several of them grievously, in the Patna-bound train 19321.
Javed Ahmed, UP Director General of Police (DGP) said the bodies have been kept in the mortuary. "We are hoping that we will be able to shift the bodies very soon," he said.
A case is being registered and the investigation will follow, he said, adding that "obviously, many things have to be seen".
"Our focus was on rescue and is now on relief. Now, we will get into investigation and in the next one-two days, things will be clear. Rescue work has been completed and we are looking at other things," Ahmed said.
State Home Secretary Debasish Panda said, "We have been monitoring relief and rescue operations since yesterday. Our priority is to provide relief and hand over the bodies to the families after the due legal process including post-mortem." He said that 123 of the deceased have been identified and the process to hand over the bodies to the families has been started.
"Our RTO (Regional Transport Office) officers are also present to arrange vehicles for the families to take the bodies. A team from Bihar and Madhya Pradesh is here and we are coordinating with them," Panda said.