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Amritsar tragedy not 'railway accident', no statutory inquiry: Railway Board chairman

The railways has maintained that it was not at fault because it had no information about the Dussehra event.

Published: 20th October 2018 07:57 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th October 2018 08:05 PM   |  A+A-

Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani (File | EPS)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) will not probe the Amritsar tragedy in which a train mowed down 59 Dussehra revellers, with the Railway Board chairman saying Saturday it was not a railway accident but a case of trespassing on rail tracks.

READ | Amritsar train tragedy: Worst accident caused by trespassing in the history of railways

The Commission of Railway Safety works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and conducts mandatory inquiry into all railway accidents - at unmanned level crossings, derailments or after a bridge collapse.

"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 Ashwani Lohani said.

The railways has maintained that it was not at fault because it had no information about the Dussehra event.

READ | Amritsar train tragedy: A 'good Ravana' who saved many lives before being crushed to death

Earlier, Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha ruled out any punitive action by his department.

"The incident was not a railways' fault. There was no lapse on our part and no action against the driver will be initiated," Sinha said Saturday.

"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.

He said the train was travelling at a speed of 91 km/hr but after spotting the crowd on the track, it slowed down to 68 km/hr.

Senior railway officials said that there was no way in which the railways could have averted the accident.

Railways which pays compensation in most case of accidents at unmanned level crossings, in which the victims are "trespassers", has so far not offered any monetary aid to the families of those killed on Friday.



Comments(3)

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  • Hiron Nath

    It was a planned murder - as announcer said at event - that 500 persons will sacrifice life on railway track. Police must probe the video and arrest culprit.
    2 years ago reply
    • Sri

      Planned murder? Dumbest thing I 've read all day. The article clearly explains what happend. People shouldn't be standing On tracks. This isn't that hard to understand
      2 years ago reply
  • Dor

    any chance this was mass suicide??
    2 years ago reply
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