4 Suspended, 3 Senior Officials Sent on Leave for Utkal Express Derailment
Divisional Railway Manager Delhi and General Manager Northern Railways, who had himself suspended four railway officials, have also been sent on leave. The Chief Track Engineer, Northern Railway zone, has also been transferred.
Rescuers and police personnel near the upturned coaches of the Kalinga-Utkal Express near Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday night. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
New Delhi: Member Engineering Railway Board A K Mittal was on Sunday sent on leave after the prima facie evidence showed negligence on the part of maintenance staff as the reason why the Utkal Express derailed in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar on Saturday evening. Member Engineering is equivalent to a secretary-level position in the Government of India. The fatal accident caused 23 deaths and over 150 injuries.
Divisional Railway Manager Delhi and General Manager Northern Railways, who had himself suspended four railway officials, have also been sent on leave. The Chief Track Engineer, Northern Railway zone, has also been transferred, hours after Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu asked officials to make those responsible for the tragedy accountable by the end of this day.
R K Verma, Senior Divisional engineer, Delhi division, Rohit Kumar, Assistant engineer, Meerut, Delhi division, Inder Jeet Singh, Senior section engineer, Muzzafarnagar, and Pradeep Kumar, Junior engineer, Khatauli, were the four officials, suspended by the General Manager Northern Railways.
Earlier in the day, the Uttar Pradesh Anti-terror Squad had said that there was "no tangible evidence" to back any terror angle in the Utkal Express derailment in which 23 people lost their lives, and more than 150 sustained injuries.
The accident occurred in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar district at 5:45 pm on Saturday evening and the Uttar Pradesh government rushed the ATS team, suspecting "foul play".
"Today more than 50 passengers, who had received minor injuries, were sent to their homes after treatment. The government is extending all possible help to the stranded passengers so that they could reach their destination," UP Cabinet minister Satish Mahana told PTI.
Mahana said he had reached the accident site around 10.00 pm yesterday. "Nearly 102 passengers are still receiving treatment in government and private hospitals in Muzaffarnagar and Meerut. Free medicine is being provided to them," he said.
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