A day after TN train mishap, govt orders probe



A day after TN train mishap, govt orders probe Zeenews Bureau

Chennai: Preliminary investigation into the train accident at Sitheri has found that it took place due to over-speeding of the EMU train which rammed into a stationary train, Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi Wednesday said.

However, a comprehensive probe would be launched to ascertain if the accident occurred due to human error or technical fault, Trivedi, who arrived here from Delhi along with a team of railway officials, told reporters.

Terming the accident as "unfortunate", he said preliminary investigation had revealed that it was due to over speeding of the EMU train which rammed into the stationary train.

The train driver was not under the influence of alcohol, he confirmed.

The team also visited about 30 injured, admitted to Government General hospital here before leaving for the accident site.

Railway orders probe

Railways today ordered an inquiry into the train accident at Sitheri in Tamil Nadu which has left ten persons dead.

"The Commissioner Railway Safety, Southern zone, SK Mittal will conduct an inquiry into the cause of the accident and submit the report at the earliest, Railway Ministry spokesperson Anil Kumar Saxena said here.

It was the third major rail mishap in a span of two months, which occurred when the Chennai Beach-Vellore EMU train rammed into Arakkonam-Katpadi passenger train from behind near Arakkonam junction, derailing five coaches late on Tuesday.

The Train No. 187 Arakkonam-Katpadi passenger was waiting for signal to move forward when the EMU rammed into it from behind at around 9.30 pm.

At least 85 injured people were admitted to various government hospitals in Arakkonam and Vellore.

Although the exact number of casualty is yet to be ascertained, conflicting reports suggested that as many as fifteen people have been feared killed and over 100 others were critically injured in the rail accident.

There are possibilities that scores of passengers could have been trapped under the debris. Rescue workers are using gas cutters to help pull out the trapped passengers from inside the derailed bogies and two cranes have been pressed into service to clear the tracks.

The impact of the collision was so much that three bogies of the Arakkonam-Katpadi passenger train were thrown off the tracks spreading havoc.

Two teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were rushed to the accident site. Top railway officials from Southern zone also rushed to the accident spot.

Medical, rescue and relief teams also reached the accident site. Rescue operations are still on. Rescue and relief efforts were hit by low visibility and heavy rains in the area yesterday.

Train cancellations

Railways today cancelled more than 10 trains passing through Arakkonam-Katpadi section after nine persons were killed in a mishap at Sitheri in Tamil Nadu.

Several trains leaving Chennai Central have either been rescheduled or diverted.

According to a statement by Southern Railways, the cancelled trains were Chennai Central-Bangalore Mail, Chennai Central-Erode Yercaud Express, Chennai Central-Coimbatore Kovai Express, Coimbatore-Chennai Central Kovai Express, Chennai Central-Bangalore Brindavan Express.

Bangalore-Chennai Central Brindavan Express, Chennai Central-Coimbatore Duronto Express, Coimbatore-Chennai Central Duronto Express, Erode-Chennai Central Yercaud Express, Tirupattur-Chennai Central, Chennai Central-Tirupattur, Jolarpettai-Arakkonam, Arakkonam-Jolarpettai were also cancelled.

Nine trains scheduled to leave Chennai Central were also rescheduled while five trains were diverted via Villupuram junction.

Helpline numbers

Railways have made many helpline numbers operational to help the families of the victims. The numbers are 09244919572, 044-25357398, 044-25380710, 044-25355793, 044-25353438 and 044-25352639.