The derailment of the Utkal Express in Uttar Pradesh’s Khatauli was because of the “failure of railway staff”, a preliminary investigation has found, according to The Indian Express. The inquiry has placed the blame on an engineer, the assistant station master and the section controller.
At least 24 passengers were killed and more than 150 were injured after 14 coaches of the train heading to Haridwar from Puri went off the tracks on August 19.
The report, prepared by Commissioner of Railway Safety SK Pathak, said the engineer cut the rails without any authorisation to block traffic and failed to impose speed restrictions for the approaching Utkal Express.
The section controller did not block traffic for 15 to 20 minutes and was guilty of not “being sensitive towards the necessity”. The assistant station master of Khatauli did not secure the tracks, despite knowing it was not safe, the report said.