Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Arakkonam rail mishap

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Anup Ghosh
The departmental probe into the Arakkonam rail mishap that claimed 10 lives began on Friday, with the recording of statements including that of MEMU driver Rajkumar, whose actions have come under the scanner after the preliminary report suggested “human error”.

“We have already seen him (Rajkumar) in the hospital. He is injured, he is able to speak partly,” Commissioner of Railway Safety, S.K. Mittal, said.

“All the evidences will be examined in proper detail, all the witnesses will be examined and we will submit the report quite early,” he said.

Southern Railway has asked the public to come forward and give evidence till Saturday if they have any knowledge relating to the accident on Tuesday when the Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit (MEMU) train rammed into a stationery passenger train.

Rajkumar’s evidence assumes significance in the wake of railway authorities saying the driver of the MEMU train had jumped a few signals and ignored speed restrictions.

Union Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi had announced a comprehensive probe to ascertain if the accident occurred due to human error or technical fault.

Railway Board Chairman Vinay Mittal had said that according to preliminary report it could be a human error.

“The driver (of MEMU train) apparently had passed a few signals at yellow and a few at red also and has collided with the passenger train waiting for signal clearance at a speed in excess of 90 km per hour. Apparently just before the impact he jumped out of the train,” Southern Railway General Manager Deepak Krishan had said.

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