NEW DELHI: Indian Railways Wednesday terminated services of 13 employees, including a junior engineer, in Northern Railway holding them responsible for the Utkal Express derailment on August 19 that killed 23 people.
Junior Engineer Pradeep Kumar, 11 track men and a hammer man were terminated based on prima facie evidence on the derailment.
Railway has accepted negligence by its employees as the primary cause of Utkal Express accident. An unofficial repair work on tracks was carried out in Khatauli section in Uttar Pradesh without putting a caution or red flag for Utkal Express driver to slow down.
“The decision to terminate 13 employees has been taken based on prima facie evidence,” said Northern railways chief public relation officer.
Taking responsibility of the derailment, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had offered to quit while the then Chairman Railway Board A K Mital has resigned.
In an unprecedented move, Ministry of Railways sent on leave topmost railway officials including Member Engineering.
Four other senior engineering department officials were suspended based on prima facie evidence.
The move comes at a time when 4 derailments have been reported in last 10 days.
Newly appointed Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani has said that railways image suffered a serious dent in the recent past due to derailments and railwaymen across the country should be on guard to ensure the highest level of safety in train operations to instill a renewed sense of confidence in railway passengers.