A two-member team of the Andhra Pradesh Forensic Science Laboratories (APSFL) on Tuesday took the sting out of the railways' argument that the fire on the Tamil Nadu Express at Nellore on Monday could have been an act of sabotage.
The forensic experts said they could not find any evidence lending credence to the suspicion of sabotage. However, the exact cause of the mishap would be revealed in a detailed report to be submitted to the government, they said.
Railway authorities have been stating that they cannot rule out the possibility of a sabotage. With the forensic experts' opinion, they are in a fix now as railway safety lapses will be back in focus.
APFSL assistant director Venkateshwarlu arrived at Nellore railway station on Tuesday morning to collect samples to know the exact reasons for the fire accident that killed 32 passengers on board. The collection of samples continued till late in the evening. Though he refused to come to an early conclusion on the cause of the fire, Venkateswarlu told mediapersons that they did not find any explosive material that could have caused the fire.
With the railway police taking up the investigation, the Nellore district police have no information on the matter. Speaking to Express, superintendent of police BV Ramana Kumar said that the whole investigation was being conducted by the railway police and other wings and the forensic laboratory report would be crucial in determining the cause of fire.
Of the 28 injured, 13 have been discharged. Of the remaining 15, nine are in a critical but stable condition. They are responding to treatment. Plastic surgery will be performed on Anusha, a doctor from Vijayawada. She was going to Chennai to attend coaching classes to prepare for the national-level PG medical entrance test.