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Training for train rescue

Hyderabad, Sept. 18: Minister of state for railways Bandaru Dattatreya today admitted that there was a lack of skilled personnel to handle rescue operations in the event of train disasters.

Speaking to reporters here, Dattatreya said the Railway Board has decided to appoint a consultant to prepare a plan of action for training employees in disaster management skills.

He, however, dismissed RJD chief Laloo Yadav’s accusations following the recent Rajdhani tragedy as baseless. Laloo had said the accident was a result of careless maintenance of bridges.

Stressing that the derailment was an “accident”, Dattatreya said about 51,000 bridges were more than 100 years old and 526 had already been declared “distressed”.

He said the railway has taken up measures to set up a safety fund of Rs 17,000 crore for replacing wooden sleepers with fibre-reinforced plastic ones.

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