Hirakhand Express derailment: 4-member NIA team begins probe at site

More than 115 people were injured in the accident which occurred near Kuneru station in Vijianagaram district of AP late Saturday night.

Kuneru: A four-member team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) began its probe here into the horrific Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar-Hirakhand Express derailment, in which 41 people were killed.

More than 115 people were injured in the accident which occurred near Kuneru station in Vijianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh late Saturday night, when the train was going to Bhubaneswar.

With this being the third major derailment in two months, railway officials have not ruled out sabotage.

Besides inspecting the site of the accident, the NIA team are also looking into the gateman, station master, track patrolling man and other officials and workers present on the night of the tragedy.

The NIA is also expected to probe if there is any terror angle to the train mishap.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has also ordered a CID probe into the accident.

This comes in the wake of startling revelations made by Bihar Police that Pakistan's notorious spy agency ISI was behind the recent train tragedies in Kanpur.

However, Odisha Police had ruled out involvement of Maoists in the mishap.

The Railways initially suspected a a rail fracture behind the derailment, however, it is yet to be ascertained through whether the fracture was due to sabotage or because of negligence and lack of maintenance.

Earlier, Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu who visited the accident site, along with senior railway ministry official, said that all possible causes of the accident will be probed and stringent action will be taken against the culprits.

The ministry said that prima facie, it looks that derailment was caused by rail fracture but that has to be ascertained that whether it was caused by poor maintenance or someone did it intentionally.

"There are indications of foul play as a goods train passed the same track just two hours before the mishap. The inspection by the patrol team also found the track was fine on Saturday night. The driver applied emergency brake after feeling a big jerk and heard a loud sound," said Railway spokesperson Anil Kumar Saxena.

( Source : ANI )
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