New Delhi: Four railway officials were suspended, one was transferred and three others were sent on leave on Sunday after more than 20 people were killed and several others injured when Utkal Express derailed in Khatauli near Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh on Saturday night.
Assistant Engineer, Senior Divisional Engineer, Junior Engineer and Senior Section Engineer (Permanent Way), responsible for track maintenance, were suspended, according to PTI. Chief Track Engineer of Northern Railway was transferred.
Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Delhi, General Manager (Northern Railway) RN Kulshrestha and Member Engineering of Railway Board (secretary level) were sent on leave.
Fourteen coaches of the high-speed Utkal Express jumped the rails, with one of them crashing into a house adjacent to the track near Khatauli in UP. At least 23 people were killed and more than 150 people were injured.
The accident occurred around 5.45 pm near Khatauli town, 40 km off Muzaffarnagar, leaving 23 people dead, the Uttar Pradesh Police said.
The train was coming from Puri in Odisha and going to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, normally a journey of about 36 hours.
Meanwhile, the Railways on Sunday indicated that negligence could be the reason behind the derailment of the train, with a senior official saying a probe would ascertain if any maintenance work was being done on the tracks without permission.
It was not "clear" what kind of work was going on at the site, said Mohd Jamshed, Member, Traffic, Railways.
"However, any work on tracks has to follow a manual. We have maintenance manuals which lay down guidelines for work on any kind of railway infrastructure," he told the media in New Delhi.
A probe will ascertain if work was being carried out on the tracks and if so, whether the rules had been followed.
The probe, which will begin on Monday, will be conducted by Railway Safety Commissioner Shailesh Kumar Pathak, who will look into "every angle, be it sabotage, technical lapse or manual fault"....