No terror angle so far in Utkal Express derailment, say UP Police | india news | Hindustan Times
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No terror angle so far in Utkal Express derailment, say UP Police

The UP police ruled out the possibility of the a terror angle in Saturday’s train derailment, saying evidence so far did not indicate any foul play.

india Updated: Aug 21, 2017 15:51 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Lucknow
Utkal Express,Muzaffarnagar,Train derailment
Coaches of the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express train after it derailed in Khatauli near Muzaffarnagar, on August 20, 2017.(Chahatram/HT Photo )

Uttar Pradesh Police’s additional director general of police (Law and Order) on Saturday said so far there was no proof of any terror outfit’s involvement in the derailment of the Utkal Kalinga Express at Khatauli in which 22 people lost their lives.

“The ATS (Anti-Terror Squad) is camping there since yesterday. As per investigations done till now, there is no concrete evidence pointing to the role of any terror outfit’s involvement in it,” ADG (Law and Order) Anand Kumar said.

“Chances are that the derailment may have occurred due to some other or technical reasons,” the ADG said.

Cracking the whip, the Railways on Saturday night sent on leave its three top officials, including a secretary-level Railway Board official, suspended four and transferred one in the wake of Utkal train derailment incident which appeared to have been caused by negligence.

The action was taken on the basis of an internal report which is learnt to have said that the rail track was found cut by a hacksaw and as a result there was a gap in the tracks, according to officials in the know.

The report also said that the fish plate and the nut bolts on a section of the tracks were not fixed properly, they said.

The train, which was on its way from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, had 23 coaches, of which 13 derailed at Khatauli in UP, R N Singh said earlier in the day.

Six coaches of the train, which was running at a speed of over 100 kmph, were severely damaged, he added. One coach crashed into a house.

Survivors were rescued and bodies pulled out till late last night and rescue operation by the National Disaster Response Force got over at around 3am.

Principal Secretary (Information) to the UP government Awanish Kumar Awasthi said 156 people were injured in the derailment and many among them remain critical.

More than 50 injured passengers have been discharged after medical treatment while free medical treatment of another 102 injured passengers is in progress, UP Cabinet minister Satish Mahana told PTI in Lucknow.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu this morning had directed Railway Board Chairman to fix responsibility on “prima facie evidence by the end of day”.

“Prime facie, it seems maintenance work was being carried out on the tracks.... Some maintenance work was going on, which might have caused the derailment of Utkal Express,” member (Traffic) of the Railway Board, Mohd Jamshed said.

He said a probe would reveal if any maintenance work was being done on the tracks without permission.

“Prima facie, the information is that there is divisional responsibility involved if work was being done without seeking permission. By this evening we will know if any of our staff was responsible for this,” he said.

It was not “clear” what kind of work was going on at the site, the official said.

First Published: Aug 21, 2017 00:25 IST