As allegations of negligence against railway workers surface a day after the Kalinga Utkal Express derailed near Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh, the Commissioner of Railway Safety will inspect the accident site on Monday.
An audio clip, that went viral today, hints at alleged negligence on part of railway workers at the site where the accident took place on Saturday evening.
In the audio clip, which captures conversation between a gateman and a railway official, the former alleges that a portion of the track was broken and not welded by the workers, and the train was not shown a red flag to caution it against the under-repair railway track.
General Manager, Northern Railway, Rajiv Kulshetra said that if required the audio clip would be examined and could be used as an evidence.
HERE IS ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE TRAIN TRAGEDY:
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said that he has told the Chairman of the Railway Board to fix responsibility for the disaster by Sunday evening on the strength of prima facie evidence. “Will not allow laxity in operations by the Board,” the Railway Minister tweeted.
Authorities registered a criminal complaint against unknown people for mischief and causing deaths by negligence and began a probe into the Kalinga Utkal Express train accident in Uttar Pradesh.
While Mohd Jamshed from the Railway Board claimed that 20 people have died in the train accident, officials in Uttar Pradesh put the toll figure at 24. According to officials in Uttar Pradesh, at least 156 people were injured and being treated at medical facilities in Muzaffarnagar and Meerut.
Mohd Jamshed said the railways were probing the accident from all angles, and admitted that some maintenance work was underway at the accident site and safety authorities would look into possible sabotage and “if all precautions were taken” while the repair work was being conducted.
“Whenever this kind of a big accident happens, coaches get smashed, toppled, capsized and derailed. In this case, a 200-metre track has been damaged completely. It has to be investigated in detail. All measurements are being taken and every lapse is being taken into account,” Mohd Jamshed said.
The Congress blamed “criminal negligence” for the Kalinga Utkal Express derailment and said that Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has “failed to perform his primary duty to secure passenger safety”. Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that rail fares have increased by 70 per cent since May 2014 but no concrete blueprint was laid to secure passenger lives.
The day also saw an audio clip going viral, in which a gateman alleges that the railway track was broken and the repair work was not being done properly. The gateman, in a conversation with a railway official, alleges that workers left their machines at the spot, without finishing the repair work.
(with inputs from agencies)