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  India   All India  22 Aug 2017  Utkal Express derailment: Minister vows strict action against guilty

Utkal Express derailment: Minister vows strict action against guilty

AGE CORRESPONDENT WITH AGENCY INPUTS
Published : Aug 22, 2017, 1:30 am IST
Updated : Aug 22, 2017, 6:35 am IST

The derailment at Khatauli in Muzaffarnagar district on Saturday evening killed 22 people.

A mangled coach of the Puri-Hardwar Utkal Express train being hauled off the tracks by a crane at the accident site in Khatauli near Muzaffarnagar. (Photo: PTI)
 A mangled coach of the Puri-Hardwar Utkal Express train being hauled off the tracks by a crane at the accident site in Khatauli near Muzaffarnagar. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: Minister of state for railways Manoj Sinha on Monday said there would be unprecedented action against those found guilty in the inquiry report of the Kalinga Utkal Express derailment.

The derailment at Khatauli in Muzaffarnagar district on Saturday evening killed 22 people and injured 156, 26 of whom are in a critical condition.

Cracking the whip, the railway earlier sent three top officials, including a secretary-level railway board official, on leave, suspended four officers and transferred one.

Stressing that action had already been initiated against officials, Mr Sinha said, “Once the report comes...The action will be such that has not been seen before.”

“On preliminary basis... Things that have come to light... Based on it, I feel that the most stringent action has been taken in the history of the railways,” Mr Sinha told reporters on the sidelines of the ITU-TRAI Asia Pacific Regulators Roundtable.

Asked whether the preliminary report had pointed to human error for the train mishap, Mr Sinha said, “You are wrongly informed, the inquiry is going on.”

Mohammad Jamshed, member traffic, railways, had said in a press briefing on Sunday that equipment to repair tracks were found at the accident spot and that the commissioner (railway safety) would investigate if unauthorised repair work led to the tragedy.

Following the tragedy, member (engineering) in the railway board, the northern railway general manager and the divisional regional manager (Delhi) were sent on leave.

The railways also suspended four officials — senior divisional engineer, assistant engineer, a senior section engineer (permanent way) — responsible for track maintenance and a junior engineer.

Meanwhile, rail traffic in Khatauli, suspended after the derailment, was restored on Monday with the first train leaving the spot at 1:21am, the Northern Railways said.

Tags: manoj sinha, utkal express derailment, northern railways
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi