Railway commission commences probe into Kalka Mail accident

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Train accident
Kanpur, Jul 14: The Railway Safety Commission here has commenced a probe into the Kalka Mail derailment in Punjab last week in which 70 people were killed and 250 others injured. Commissioner of Railway Safety, Lucknow, Prashant Kumar and his team on Wednesday initiated the investigation to determine the cause of derailment of the Kalka Mail, official sources said.

The probe is expected to go on till July 15 and the Commission will submit its report to the Railway Ministry on July 18.

The July 10 mishap, in which 14 coaches of Delhi-bound Kalka Mail had jumped tracks at Malwa in Fatehpur district, claimed the lives of 70 people, including two Swedish nationals, and caused injuries to over 250 people.

The Commission will check if any pre-existing faults were present in the engine or any of the coaches, or if track reparation work was going on.

It will also take into account depositions by eye-witnesses at the accident site, possibility of the driver or assistant driver being drunk or drugged, and reports of guards and drivers of trains that departed before the Kalka mail.

According to sources at the Railway Ministry, Kalka Mail driver Arvind Kumar said that the accident occurred so suddenly that he did not get a chance to apply the emergency brakes, which was earlier considered to be a possible reason behind the accident.

Preliminary investigations point towards faults in the tracks, which is now being probed more meticulously, the sources said.

The team is recording the statements of Kalka Mail driver, assistant driver, Malwa station railway staff, gateman, cabin man and 60 other people in connection with the accident.

PTI

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