THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Though railways authorities have termed the derailment at Karukutti as a major accident, officials ruled out possibilities of sabotage in the incident.
Considering the severity of the accident, Commission of Railway Safety has ordered an enquiry and a report will be submitted within a week fixing responsibility. Unlike the Gyaneshwari Express accident on May 28, 2010, in West Bengal which claimed 150 lives, the prima facie evidence ruled out any sabotage angle.
A busy day for disaster management cell
It was not a normal laid back Sunday for the officials at the Trivandrum Divisional Railway office near the Central station. Though pressed into action since Sunday morning following the train derailment at 2.15 am in Karukutti, there was a sense of relief among the officials at the disaster management cell, as a major tragedy was averted. The Chennai express was approaching from the opposite direction and was only meters away when the accident occurred. As the bogeys fell on the adjacent track there was an emergency situation.
“Timely response by our staff helped to avert a major tragedy. Nevertheless we consider it as a major accident considering the involvement of a passenger train and duration of track shutdown.” said V C Sudeesh, senior divisional commercial manager of Trivandrum Division.
According to him the railway’s response team tried its best to provide timely information and to ferry passengers from the spot, immediately after the accident.
“I called up KSRTC MD Antony Chacko at 3 am. He gave good support by providing buses. Before 9 am we managed to provide 32 buses, including private buses, to ferry passengers from Karukutti.” said Sudheesh. The officials offered water, biscuits and tea to the shocked passengers who suddenly found themselves trapped in the middle of the night.Railways deployed close to 200 staff and two large cranes to restore traffic.