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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Railway track was under repair but Utkal Express train driver was not informed, preliminary probe finds

According to initial findings, at least 15 metres of the track had been removed for repair works at the time of the accident on Saturday evening.

india Updated: Aug 20, 2017 01:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Fourteen coaches of the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express train derailed in Khatauli near Muzaffarnagar on Saturday evening.
Fourteen coaches of the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express train derailed in Khatauli near Muzaffarnagar on Saturday evening.(PTI Photo)
         

The track on which the Kalinga Utkal Express derailed was under repair near Khatauli but there was negligence in conveying the information to the train driver, initial probe into the accident revealed.

Railway officials said at least 15 metres of the track had been taken off and was being replaced when the Puri-Haridwar train appeared.

With no option left, labourers ran for their lives leaving the equipments and the replacement track, which were later found under coach A-1 of the derailed train.

“The railway track was found broken underneath the coach A-1 and clamps were lying on other side of the track,” said a railway official.

As per the probe, even the Khatauli station staff was not aware that the repair work was still underway.

“If alert had been sounded, then the Utkal Express would not have reached Khatauli,” a railway official said.

The probe is now looking at why no alert was sounded between Meerut and Muzaffarnagar.

UP’s principal secretary (home), Arvind Kumar said the derailment was caused by sudden application of brakes by the train driver. “There was some work on the tracks but no flagging was done,” he told HT.

Prima facie there was no indication of sabotage, Kumar added.

First Published: Aug 20, 2017 00:13 IST