VISAKHAPATNAM : A 5-member team of National Investigation Agency (NIA), accompanied by several senior officers from Andhra Pradesh, visited the Hirakhand Express mishap site at Kuneru in Vizianagaram district on Monday to probe the sabotage angle in the case. The NIA and CID will conduct a joint probe into the incident.
A series of train mishaps in the country in the recent days and the train derailment owing to an alleged sabotage at Kanpur in which around 130 passengers were killed led the NIA team to fly from New Delhi to investigate whether there could be any similar angle to the Hirakhand train derailment.
After the mishap, Divisional Railway Manager of East Coast Railway Chandralekha Mukherjee told Express that two trains had passed on the track at around 9 pm and 10.45 pm. In between, linemen inspected the track too, but the incident happened around 11.20 pm, hinting there could be a sabotage angle to the incident.
Team of officials from CID including additional DG Ch Dwaraka Tirumala Rao, inspector general of police Amit Garg and a few other officers accompanied the NIA team.
The security agencies inspected the tracks at Kuneru railway station and also the portion where the railway officials found that 10 to 15 inch track was broken. Sources said that the team had clicked pictures of the tracks and spoke to the railway men and a few staffer at Kuneru railway station.
It is learnt that though officials didnt rule out the possibilities of sabotage, they expressed that weakening of tracks could also have led to the accident.
Sources said that the officials also contacted the railway-men of stations which the train had passed before it reached Kuneru to ascertain whether there were any cracks, fracture on the rail lines or fault of the driver. The officials told newsmen that they couldnt ascertain the reasons exactly till the investigation was completed.
Meanwhile, a team led by ommissioner Railway Safety (South Central Circle) Ram Kripal also visited the site to conduct an inquiry to find out cause of the derailment.
He interacted with the patients undergoing treatment treated at hospitals at Parvathipuram.