Rescue work ends, toll mounts to 67
After the extraction of 27 more bodies over a span of 25 hours, army and National Disaster Response Force personnel ended the rescue operations in Malwan, where the Kalka Mail had derailed on Sunday. Haider Naqvi and Gulam Jeelani report.
After the extraction of 27 more bodies over a span of 25 hours, army and National Disaster Response Force personnel ended the rescue operations in Malwan, where the Kalka Mail had derailed on Sunday.
The last body found was that of a Border Security Force officer, taking the toll in the year's worst train disaster to 67. The number of injured rose to 249.
“Forty-six bodies have been identified and 14 women are among the dead,” said Brij Lal, Uttar Pradesh's additional director general of police (law & order). Most of the dead and injured were in two sleeper coaches and an air-conditioned coach.
Officials investigating the accident, meanwhile, are focusing on a section of the track and a joint, which don't appear to be in order. The joint was used to shift a goods train to a loop line so that the Kalka Mail could stay on the main line.
But engineers from Allahabad and Kanpur, who checked the rails on Monday, indicated that the gap in the joint exceeded permissible limits. Besides, the portion of tracks appeared slightly bent and the washers were loose. The track also bore marks of hammering. Railway engineers suspect some mismanagement during maintenance work, HT learnt.
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