Driver was cautioned against high speed
A seven-member panel led by Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS), SK Pathak, today initiated a probe into the derailment of Charter Special Toy Train at Parwanoo on September 12. The team inspected the spot and reconstructed the accident to ascertain its exact cause. Officials boarded the special chartered train engine from Kalka. The CRS set a stop watch when the journey began from the Kalka station.
He noted down the time of arrival to verify the internal departmental report.He also checked the response time of the officials after they were informed about the accident.
At the accident site, he measured the track and also inspected the nearby area. The CRS also examined the coaches damaged during the mishap. Pathak visited Max Hospital in Mohali to enquire about the health of the injured. He asked the patients if they had asked the driver to slow down. He also asked them what was the response time of the officials post-accident.
Statements of five IRCTC officials, three officials of the Ambala Division and five eyewitnesses were recorded. Pathak sealed the records of three employees who were found at fault in the internal inquiry report of the Ambala Division.
The eyewitnesses stated that the train was running at high speed. One of the gatemen had cautioned the driver before the mishap, they said.
Ambala Divisional Manager Dinesh Kumar said the driver did not follow the speed limit which should be 25 kilometre per hour. The panel is likely to submit its preliminary report within three days. Sources said since the Loco Inspector is supposed to examine the speedometer before the onset of a journey, the officials told the panel that it was working when the train started. The train derailed barely 3 km after from Kalka. As the speedometer failed to generate a graph about the speed, chances of the panel ascertaining the speed at the time of the mishap are bleak.
“With no other cause coming to the fore in the findings, the driver and his assistant are likely to face the music once the inquiry report is finalised,” said the railway officials. British national George Bertram, who was admitted to Max Super-Speciality Hospital (MSSH), Mohali, was discharged last evening. Diane Logan and Andrew Summerhayes are still recuperating.
Panel to submit report in 3 days
The panel is likely to submit its preliminary report within three days. No other cause has come to the fore in the findings. This means that the driver and his assistant may face the music once the inquiry report is out.