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Hirakhand Express accident: High level probe begins

The process of investigation by the commissioner of railway safety commenced to ascertain the cause of the train mishap that took place on Saturday night.

india Updated: Jan 23, 2017 21:54 IST
The Hirakhand Express, plying from Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh to Bhubaneswar in Odisha, derailed near Kuneru railway station in Andhra Pradesh’s Vizianagaram district late on Saturday night.
The Hirakhand Express, plying from Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh to Bhubaneswar in Odisha, derailed near Kuneru railway station in Andhra Pradesh’s Vizianagaram district late on Saturday night.(PTI file photo)

A high level probe was set in motion into the derailment of Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express that claimed 39 lives in Andhra Pradesh, even as train services resumed on the route today.

The process of investigation by the commissioner of railway safety commenced to ascertain the cause of the train mishap that took place on Saturday night near Kuneru in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh, an east coast railways (ECoR) official said.

Read: 39 dead, 67 injured after Hirakhand Express derails in Andhra Pradesh

Ram Kripal, commissioner of railway safety of South Central Circle in Secuderabad, under the ministry of civil aviation is holding the statutory inquiry, he said.

After visiting the accident site where nine bogies and the engine of the train had jumped off the track, the commission is at present conducting the inquiry at the Officers’ Rest House (open line) at Rayagada.

The inquiry will start from 10.30am on Tuesday at the divisional railway manager’s office in Dondaparthy, Visakhapatanam, the official said.

“Any member of the public having knowledge relating to this accident and matters connected therewith and desiring to give evidence may do say at above places on the dates of inquiry or write to the Commissioner Of Railway Safety, South Central Circle...,” a railway notification said.

“The investigation will look into all aspects relating to the train derailment to ascertain the exact cause of the tragic incident,” said an ECoR officer.

Read: NIA visits Hirakhand train derailment site in Andhra Pradesh, toll climbs to 41

Normal train services resumed on Rayagada-Vizianagaram railway section after remaining disrupted for around 36 hours following the derailment as the track was cleared, he said.

All the nine mangled bogies and the train engine which had derailed have been removed from the track with the help of heavy machinery and cranes, the officer said, adding normal train operations resumed on the route after repair of the damaged track at the site.

The ECoR on Tuesday released the list of all the 39 people who were killed in the train derailment after establishing their identities. Almost all the bodies have been handed over to their relatives after conduct of postmortem, the officer added.