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Fractured rail caused Howrah-Kalka Mail accident: Report

August 04, 2011 23:21 IST

A fracture in the rail line was responsible for the Howrah-Kalka Mail accident that claimed 70 lives last month, the preliminary report submitted to Railway Ministry, claimed.

"The chief commissioner of railway safety in his preliminary report has concluded that the accident had occurred due to breakage of rail," said Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi during a calling attention motion in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

The Howrah-Kalka Mail met with an accident when it was passing through Malwan station in Uttar Pradesh on July 10. While 70 passengers lost their lives, 87 suffered grievous injuries and 166 suffered minor injuries.

Assuring the house that all possible steps are being taken to prevent accidents, Trivedi said the Railways will fill all safety-related top posts within this week. "I will be personally sit on everybody's head, if I can use the word...all vacancies are going to be filled...at higher levels within this week," Trivedi said.

The Railways has around 1.5 lakh vacancies related to safety, but Trivedi did not give the numbers that needed to be filled up at the higher-level. Earlier, while seeking clarifications on the frequent rail accidents, Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist) and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam  blamed the Railways for lack of safety measures.

They said the reasons behind accidents include over 1 lakh vacancies in posts related to safety, large number of unmanned level crossings and indiscriminate announcement of new trains without investing in infrastructure like locomotives, rolling stocks and fire-proof coaches.

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