Snapping of rail joint may have led to Chhapra Mishap

छापड़ा Chhapra (CPR):  A team of forensic experts from Bihar police suggested that breakage of “welded” part of tracks had “triggered” the derailment of eight coaches of Dibrugarh-bound Rajdhani Express near Chhapra on Wednesday. Forensic Sciences Laboratory (FSL) report that will be submitted to a Chhapra court came just two days before Railways Safety Commissioner starts inspecting the derailment site.

The local administration in Chhapra has constituted a four-member special team to probe the accident and help the Railways determine reason for the derailment.

KS Dwivedi, Additional Director General of Police (Railways), who visited the site, has asked the FSL team to “start inspecting from track breaking point” till the point B-9 compartment ran aground. It has been found that there was a complete dislocation of tracks.

Dwivedi said: “The very first look of broken tracks suggests it broke at the welded point. FSL report will surely give vital leads.” The police team that spoke to ill-fated train staffers, including its loco pilot, has clearly hinted at poor track maintenance and not at involvement of Maoists behind the derailment.

The engine driver told the state police that any sabotage attempt would have first derailed the engine that otherwise remained on the track. “Railways must wake up to poor track maintenance and especially inspection of welded part of tracks. Trolley cars are now being put in operation because of increased frequency of trains in the route,” a senior Railways official said.

Meanwhile, Chhapra SP S K Singh said he had issued alert to the local Railways authority about possible attacks by the Naxals during the bandh called by them on June 24. The official, however, did not indicate any Maoist involvement in the mishap and the alert was issued on June 22.

Special train brings 1,100 passengers home

Guwahati: More than 24 hours after Dibrugarh-bound Rajdhani Express derailed near Chhapra in Bihar, over 1,100 passengers arrived here in a special train on Thursday morning. Northeast Frontier Railway CPRO Sugato Lahiri said while 550 passengers disembarked in Guwahati, of the remainder who continued their journey in the special train bound for Dibrugarh, 124 were for Dimapur and 157 for Tinsukia and Dibrugarh. “We could manage only two AC coaches to move the passengers on their onward journey from the accident site, while five more sleeper coaches were added in New Jalpaiguri Wednesday evening,” Lahiri informed. Passengers, however, complained that they had to travel without proper amenities and that food and water provided by the railways were not adequate.