Friday, May 28, 2010

Even as Railway Minister Mamata Bannerjee shirked responsibility for the horrific mishap that took place in West Bengal's West Midnapore district in the wee hours on Friday saying it was a Maoist strike, the facts don't seem to be backing her claim.

The railway minister had said that since security was not an issue that she was responsible for, the blame lied with the state government and the Union home ministry. However, railway officials contradicted the minister's claim.

According to them, the passengers of Gyaneshwari Express did not die because the train coaches gave clear indication what actually happened derailed. People died after the derailed bogies were hit by a goods train.

Railway Board member Vivek Sahai said, "It is our misfortune that the train was derailed and the coaches tilted towards the adjacent line and infringed the down line going towards Howrah. At that very moment, a goods train was going from Tatanagar to Kharagpur and its engine hit these tilted coaches due to which there have been loss of lives."

The passengers trapped in these coaches were crushed to death as the goods train engine rammed into it. It was confirmed by the driver of the goods train.

"On seeing the emergency light I tried to stop the train. There was a huge ball of smoke in front of me. The engine of the train was on the track but the bogies had derailed," Nirbhay, the goods train driver, had said after the collision.

Earlier in the day, terming it an outcome of a blast carried out by Maoists, the railway minister had said, "Trains have been made soft targets. We have appealed repeatedly that rail services should not be disrupted. Railway is going for a high-power investigation but at the same time I will request the home minister to investigate the matter and whoever is responsible, take necessary reaction."


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