‘Rail Failure’ caused Anekal accident, Driver gets Clean Chit

Bangalore (SBC): The Bangalore City-Ernakulam Junction Intercity Express derailment at Anekal on February 13, which resulted in 9 deaths and 20 injuries was caused by rail failure, according to a provisional inquiry.

The statutory inquiry report by Commissioner of Railway Safety, Southern Circle Satish Kumar  Mittal was released on Tuesday.

The findings are an outcome of an inquiry held at the Divisional Railway Manager’s office in Bangalore on February 17 and 18 in which 1 public witness and 30 railway witnesses were examined (out of 52 railway witnesses  who submitted their statements). The final report will be out in 6 months time.

In railway parlance, the derailment of train No. 12677 was caused “due to rail failure at km 169/900-800” and is classified under the category “failure of equipment – rail failure” the report said.

The rails involved in the failure are of 1995-96 vintage with rolling mark as ‘660 52 0 VIII/95D’. They are referred to as D marked rails.

A rail fracture in the vicinity of the derailment spot came to light the previous day (February 12) when the loco-pilot of a light engine  experienced a jerk when driving. He later understood there was a rail fracture on the tracks and communicated it to station master at Anekal Road at 9.55 am.

“It was a vertical rail fracture,” the report said adding track maintenance staff attended to it.

The fracture was repaired with one metre long fish plate by providing four bolts (two on either side) in the Long Welded Rail (LWR).  A speed restriction of 20 kmph (instead of the permissible 65kmph) was imposed on Feb 12 at 10.15 am and later removed at 2 pm the same day.

On February 13, a keyman (track maintenance staff member) passed the tracks at 7 am and did not notice any abnormality. No stone was also found at the site by him. “Train passing staff at Anekal Road also did not find anything abnormal with the tracks,” the report said.

While passing kms 169/900-800 on a 4 degree left hand curved track, the loco pilot felt a jerk. He looked back and noticed dust spread under the truck side. The driver also found the brake power dropping and the loco vibrating, the report said.