Faulty coach likely cause of Muzaffarpur-Yesvantpur mishap

The joint field observation carried out by Railway officials at site of the derailment of the Muzaffarpur-Yesvantpur Express (15228) at Chitheri in Vellore district on Thursday, ruled out defective railway tracks and over head equipment (OHE) mast as possible causes for the accident. Officials strongly suspected that the B-1 a/c coach could have triggered the derailment.

“The officials examined the rail parameters and infringement of OHE mast and concluded that were no faults on the rail and OHE,” an official, on condition of anonymity, said. He added that the team had also ruled out application of sudden break by the loco pilot as a cause for the accident.

“The loco pilot did not observe any unusual sound on track. There was no sign of damage to  engine and the first seven coaches. If there was a defect on the track, the engine and following coaches would have derailed. The passengers who traveled in the first seven coaches were not injured. These inputs ensure that there was no damage in the track,” he noted.

The team believe a defective coach might have triggered the derailment. They believe that it must be the B-1 air-conditioned coach, which was the most damaged coach of the 12 that derailed, and most of its parts were found scattered, the source added.

The B-1 coach, which was in the middle of the derailed compartments, misled the front three coaches. It caused damage to rails, sleepers and fittings. It is also learnt that the broken parts of the B-1 coach were found scattered before the rear end of the derailed spot, he said, adding, “It was the most damaged wagon which makes one suspect the scheduled maintenance of the coach.”

The speed of the train was also a fact to be considered. which was not disclosed due to the sealed speedometer, which was sent to authorities concerned for decoding the speed details during the accident. “Once we receive information after the speedometer is decoded, can we rule out the speed factor regarding the accident,” sources said further.

The express train had derailed at Chitheri, seven km from Arakkonam Railway Junction, in Vellore district about 5.45 am on Wednesday. The accident had claimed the life of a 52-year-old passenger, leaving 33 injured and had damaged the tracks, OHE and telecommunication network.