A three-member team of experts from the State Forensic Science Laboratory (SFSL) in Calcutta visited the train accident site at Domohoni on Monday.
They examined the derailed coaches, various dismantled parts and collected samples from different places which would be examined to find out the cause of the accident.
On January 13, the 15633 Bikaner-Guwahati Express derailed between New Domohoni and New Maynaguri stations. Altogether, 12 coaches had jumped the tracks in the incident, killing nine and injuring 36 other passengers
After the accident, Sanjay Chandar, director general of the Railway Protection Force, visited the site and said the RPF would also conduct a probe and engage forensic experts.
Accordingly, the team led by Chitrakshya Sarkar, an assistant director of the SFSL, reached the spot around 12.30pm on Monday, five days after the accident.
They examined all the derailed coaches and the track. Accompanied by Maynaguri police and the RPF, they also went to New Domohoni station and examined the loco of the train that had been shifted from the accident site.
Altogether, they carried out their work for around three-and-a-half hours. Later, Sarkar told newspersons that they collected various samples from the coaches and also made certain markings.
“We have examined the traction motor of the loco, the axles of derailed coaches and also the interior of the bogies. We will visit Alipurduar and talk to the pilot, co-pilot and some railway officials. Soon, a report of our findings would be handed over to the railways,” the forensic expert said.
Latif Khan, the commissioner of railway safety, is also conducting a probe.
On Monday, Soma Das Mitra, the deputy inspector general (railways) of the state police, visited the spot. She said a complaint had been filed with the Government Railway Police (GRP) at New Maynaguri police station.
“We have initiated our investigation on the basis of the complaint. We will also speak to the loco pilot and the assistant loco pilot of the train,” she said.
The railway authorities are finishing final repairs along the 1km-long stretch of the track on which the accident had occurred.
On Saturday evening, train movement was restored on the track but trains were running at restricted speed.
“A number of slippers were damaged in the accident. Today, sophisticated equipment was engaged to replace those slippers and finish the final repairs. From now on, trains can normally run through this stretch,” said a railway official.
Representatives of the alumni association of Holy Child School of Jalpaiguri, led by Subhasis Ghosh, the officer-on-special- duty at the chief minister’s office in Uttarkanya (the branch secretariat of the state in Siliguri), called on 25 patients who are under treatment at the super-specialty hospital in Jalpaiguri on Saturday.
“We handed over a hamper of food like cakes, biscuits and dry fruits, along with masks and sanitisers and a shawl, to each of them. A “get well” card was also given to them. We wanted to send them the message that Jalpaiguri residents are with them and want them to recover soon,” said Ghosh, who is also the general secretary of the association.