A day after a frequent traveller claimed he had alerted a railway official about unusual sound of wheels, a senior railway official in Indore, however, denied any technical snag in the track was the reason behind Indore – Patna Express derailment in which 146 people were killed and more than 200 injured — India’s worst rail accident in the last six years.
“Had there been any kind of snag either in wheels or any part, our technical team responsible for the maintenance of track would not have allowed the train to move. In addition, if wheels got jammed, then how could the train cover more than 750 km, covering half of the journey,” the senior official said on condition of anonymity.
Echoing similar views, western railway senior public relation officer Jitendra Kumar Jayant said there could be many reasons behind this fatal mishap.
He even said just to hog limelight some people have come out after the incident to claim they had alerted railway authorities.
One of the frequent travellers identified as 35-year-old Prakash Sharma from Kherkheda village of Mandsaur district in Madhya Pradesh claimed on Saturday afternoon he had alerted a railway official about unusual sound of wheels of sleeper coach S2. Sharma who had to visit Nagda alighted at Ujjain later.
One more passenger, 32-year-old Deepak Rajbhar, a resident of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, who was in S1 coach with his uncle Jai Prakash reportedly alerted authorities about unusually loud sound at Jhansi but he was asked not to worry.
Railways has already begun an investigation into this mishap and PK Acharya, eastern division commission of railway safety (CRS), ministry of civil aviation, will leave for the accident spot from Kanpur-situated deputy chief safety officer’s office on Tuesday.
Fourteen coaches of the express train went off the rails in Pukhrayan in western Uttar Pradesh on early Sunday morning. Of the dead indentified so far, 22 belong to Madhya Pradesh.
Three general coaches from engine side, five AC and six sleeper coaches were badly damaged in the mishap.
The S1 and S2 coaches had telescoped into each other and most of the casualties were feared to have been in these two compartments.
“My message to all those railway passengers and other people is --- share all kinds of information including photographs and video clips with CRS at deputy chief of safety officer office in Kanpur or inform him on his mobile phone as it will be helpful in investigation,” said Jayant.