Jaunpur (UP), May 31 (PTI): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday demanded an inquiry into the derailment of five bogies of the Howrah-Dehradun Doon Express in Uttar Pradesh stating it should be probed whether it was an 'accident or an incident'.
“Since the accident has taken place during a countrywide bandh we want this to be probed. Who has caused this mishap? It has to be seen whether this is truly an accident or an incident,” Mamata, a former railway minister, told reporters at the state secretariat.
“We have also seen this during the Jnaneswari Express accident. I am shocked. But mere sympathy for the accident victims is not enough,” she said referring to train disaster of May 10, 2010 in which 141 passengers were killed in West Midnapore district.
Asked specifically if she suspected sabotage, Mamata, the Trinamool Congress chief, said that this was for the railways to ascertain.
In Delhi, Railway Board member A P Mishra said that exact cause has to be ascertained. It could have been “due to excessive heat causing track expansion or some miscreant activity,” he said, adding that the railway track could be cleared by Friday morning.
“Assistant Loco Pilot has informed railway officials that he had seen some obstruction in the track and he tried to apply brake. While 10 coaches passed, the last seven bogies derailed,” Mishra said, adding that Railway Minister Mukul Roy is likely to reach the spot on Thursday night.
Quoting the district magistrate and the superintendent of police of the area, about 70 kms from Varanasi, Mishra said the toll may rise but not substantially. The train was on its way from Howrah to Dehradun.
Meanwhile, the Railway Minister, who was in Kolkata, has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the next of kin of those killed in the accident, Rs 1 lakh for those with grievous injuries and Rs 25,000 for those with simple injuries.