Amritsar train tragedy not ‘railway accident’, no statutory inquiry: Railway Board chairman
The Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) will not conduct any probe into the Amritsar train tragedy which has claimed the lives of people so far, as the Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani on Saturday said that it was “not a railway accident” but a case of “trespassing” on rail tracks.
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As many as 59 people were killed and at least 57 others were seriously injured in the fatal incident on Friday night when a speeding train ran over revellers watching the effigy of Ravan burn at a Dussehra event near the Amritsar Railway Station.
“The Commission conducts statutory investigation into railway accidents. This was an incident where people were trespassing on the tracks and not an accident,” Railway Board chairman said.
The Commission of Railway Safety functions under the administrative control of the Civil Aviation Ministry and conducts mandatory inquiry into all railway accidents - at unmanned level crossings, derailments or after a bridge collapse.
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The railways has maintained that it was not at fault because it had no information about the Dussehra event and that it would not take action against the train driver.
“The incident was not a railways’ fault. There was no lapse on our part and no action against the driver will be initiated,” Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha said Saturday.
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“People should refrain from organising such events near the tracks in future. I think if precautions had been taken, the accident could have been averted,” he said, adding wherever such events are held, the district administration gives the permission.
Vivek Kumar, Divisional Railway Manager, Ferozpur, said the driver has been questioned but no lapse was found.
(With inputs from agencies)