Mumbai: The Indian Railways on Monday apologized for the freak incident when the Ahmedabad-Puri Express rolled down for several kms on Saturday, endangering the lives of hundreds of passengers.
“The incident is an isolated one of staff negligence that is ‘sincerely regretted’ by the Indian Railways. While the concerned staff has been suspended and a high-level probe has also been ordered, the IR remains committed to ensuring highest levels of safety in train operations,” the Central Railway said in a statement here this evening.
To prevent recurrence of such incidents, the Railways has ordered a month-long campaign over the entire railway network in the country “for sensitizing staff regarding the precautions to be takena”
“Passenger safety followed by passenger comfort remains the highest priority of IR. The subject of safety is continuously monitored at the highest levels in the Railway Board, being done daily at the level of the Chairman,” said CR spokesperson Sunil Udasi.
Passengers of the Ahmedabad-Puri Express on Saturday had a miraculous escape when the entire train minus the engine, rolled down for several kms due to non-application of skid brake in Odisha’s Titlagarh.
The railway staff managed to halt the train by blocking it with stones on the railway tracks at a gradient near Kesinga late on Saturday. Fortunately there were no casualties in the incident.
A video of the incident, shot by some passengers on a platform en route went viral on social media networks, proving an embarrassment for the railway authorities.
The East Coast Railway (ECoR) suspended two engine drivers and three carriage repairs staff for dereliction of duties and ordered an enquiry into the episode.
According to ECoR’s preliminary report, while the train coaches should have been secured with skids at the wheels, in the instance last Saturday, the skids were either no placed at all or placed improperly.
ECoR General Manager Umesh Singh sought immediate correctives and stringent exemplary action in the matter, besides ordering the Sambalpur DRM to institute an enquiry panel comprising divisional heads of operating, safety, mechanical and civil engineering departments. (IANS)