THREE YEARS once the National Investigation Agency (NIA) aforesaid in AN FIR that it suspected sabotage by Maoists because the reason behind the mischance of the Hirakhand specific at Kuneru in the state that crystal rectifier to forty deaths, the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) has complete that the accident was caused by a “fractured” a part of the track.
The final probe report, ready by CRS (South Central Circle) Ram Kripal, states that “the accident occurred because of fracture of tongue rail”.
The tongue rail — a nine-meter piece that’s conjointly known as the switch rail — is coupled to each rail on a track and helps a locomotive modification directions. The broken piece, that was found close to the accident website, was bimanual over by the CRS to the criminal investigation team.
The report says that whereas the technology Department of the East Coast Railway was “blameworthy”, there was no Railway official or the other person either “Primary Responsible” or perhaps “Secondary Responsible”.
The NIA, which was searching the accident from a terror angle, has not filed a charge sheet within the case. Sources aforesaid the agency’s probe has not reached any conclusion to mend culpableness even if sabotage has been dominated out.
The probe report states: “However, whether or not the fracture occurred because of material failure/ out-lived coral life couldn’t be once and for all established. thanks to inconclusive proof, I cannot hold someone Railway official liable for this mischance.”
When contacted, S K Pathak, Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety, told The Indian Express that the tongue rail was well past its allotted coral life, that is that the most service life of any quality once that it should get replaced. “It was a 52-kg rail, that was imagined to face up to around one hundred fifty Gross Million Tonnes (GMT) of traffic. However, this piece of tongue rail had withstood one hundred seventy-five Greenwich Time of traffic. in order that is that the reason why it might have broken,” he said.
The probe report, however, states that the Railway officer’s gifts didn’t facilitate relief and rescue operations. “None of the seven Railway workers World Health Organization were traveled on duty pass/privilege pass reported for operation. TTEs conjointly didn’t participate within the rescue operations, nor did they alert any Railway worker travel within the train to require half in rescue,” the report says.
It conjointly notes that the Railways did not dispatch AN Accident Relief Train to the location on time.
Asked why no official has been named as accountable, Pathak aforesaid it had been AN institutional disadvantage, that was addressed later. “It’s not any individual’s fault. we tend to suggest that every one tongue rails in Indian Railways ought to get replaced with the sixty metric weight unit rail selection now that have codal lifetime of two hundred Greenwich Time and that they ought to be marked for replacement once they cross a threshold. Railways have done that, therefore that’s a positive fallout of the report,” he said.
At the time of the accident — around eleven pm on January twenty-one, 2017, in Vizianagaram district — the train was dashing at eighty-two km from Jagdalpur to Bhubaneshwar carrying 600 passengers. except for the forty killed, sixty-seven others were disabled.
This was one amongst six accidents in fast succession, and prompted the then Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu to write down a letter to then Home Minister Rajnath Singh seeking a search by the NIA into “the possibility of criminal interference by outsiders”.
In 2017, months once absorbing the probe into the mischance, the NIA had sent material recovered from the location to the rhetorical research lab (FSL) in Hyderabad to notice traces of explosives on broken rail items, coach components, and gravel beneath the tracks. Nothing was found and a blast was dominated out.
Following this, the agency took the assistance of IIT-Kanpur to conduct a simulation exercise supported circumstances and material — even this exercise didn’t indicate sabotage.
Earlier this year, a search report on the mischance of the Indore-Patna specific that killed 152 folks in 2016 aforesaid the explanation was “welding failure” however added that the NIA was still searching the matter. it had been one amongst the accidents that Prabhu had cited in his letter.