Utkal Express mishap: Railway Board orders inquiry into derailment, vows strict action against guilty
Promising to take strict action against those responsible of any laxity, which led to the derailment of the Utkal Express on Saturday, the Railway Board on Sunday said ordered an inquiry into the accident
On Sunday, the Railway Board ordered an inquiry into the Utkal Express derailment in Uttar Pradesh's Khatauli, according to media reports.
"Railway Commissioner (Safety) will initiate detailed probe from tomorrow into derailment of Utkal Express," said Mohd Jamshed, member, Traffic, Railway Board.
The board also promised strict action against those found guilty. Speaking to the media, Jamshed, said that the board will take cognisance of the loopholes in the communication that led to the accident.
"We will take strict action against our staff if they are found guilty," Jamshed said.
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Promising to look into the kind of maintenance work being carried out on the route, Jamshed said, "Some maintenance work was going on, which might have caused derailment of Utkal Express. Railway Commissioner, Safety, will ascertain what type of maintenance work was being carried out on the track in his detailed probe."
Jamshed said that the railway police has lodged an FIR against unnamed people in the case for causing death by negligence, mischief as well as destruction of railway property.
Jamshed said rescue efforts were completed and added that locals helped the authorities.
"So far, eight coaches have been removed from the accident spot. Initial report will come by this evening," Jamshed said
Jamshed added that track restoration work is underway and traffic on the route will be restored by 10 pm on Sunday.
Jamshed pegged the death toll at 20. He added that 22 have been seriously injured, while 70 others received minor injuries.
"A total of Rs 25 lakh paid so far as ex-gratia to some affected passengers and the kin of the dead," Jamshed said.
Fourteen coaches of the high-speed Utkal Express jumped the rails, with one of them crashing into a house adjacent to the track near Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday evening.
The accident occurred around 5.45 pm near Khatauli town, 40 kilometres off Muzaffarnagar, the Uttar Pradesh police said.
The train was coming from Puri in Odisha and going to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, normally a journey of about 36 hours.
Posses of PAC, ATS and NDRF teams, as also sniffer dog squads, were rushed to the spot to carry out rescue operations. The injured were shifted to nearby government and private hospitals.
Heavyweight cranes and gas cutters were being used to lift or cut the mangled remains of the coaches and extricate passengers stuck inside. Large number of local people and villagers were also seen helping out those engaged in the rescue work.
With inputs from PTI
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