Facing criticism over reported delay in dispatching a relief train to the Sainthia accident site, railways today maintained that its medical team reached the site in about one and half hours time of the mishap.
Uttarbanga Express rammed into the Vananchal Express at Sainthia station in West Bengal, claiming 66 lives in the early hours of July 19.
The collision took place at 2.05 am and the accident medical relief train was ordered from the nearest station at Rampurhat immediately at 2.10 am, according to railway spokesperson.
The relief train carrying doctors, para-medical staff, basic medical equipment, dressing materials, a mini-operation theater, resuscitation equipments left Rampurat at 2.48 am and reached the accident site at 3.37 am.
Other medical relief trains from Asansol, Maldah, Howrah were also ordered to rush to the site.
While the relief train from Asansol reached at 5.50 am, the train from Malda reached the site at 6 am.
The accident relief train from Howrah reached at about 7 am, said the spokesperson, adding the National Disaster Relief Force team arrived at the site at 9.10 am.
Home Minister P Chidambaram today regretted the enormous delay in rescue and relief teams reaching the train accident site and said the use of helicopters or small planes on such occasions should be looked into.