Railways orders probe into Amritsar train tragedy

Nov 02, 2018, 21:19 IST | IANS

A senior official said an inquiry would be conducted by the Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety (CCRS), Lucknow

Railways orders probe into Amritsar train tragedy
Indian relatives carry the dead body of Rammilan, who was killed when a train ploughed into a crowd of revellers, during a cremation ceremony at a cremation ground in Amritsar on October 20, 2018. Angry relatives staged a protest on October 20 on the tracks where a speeding train ploughed into crowds watching fireworks, killing about 60 people in the latest disaster to bedevil India's railway network. Pic/AFP

The railways on Friday ordered a probe into the Amritsar train tragedy in which 60 people were killed while watching a Dussehra function on October 19, officials said.

A senior official said an inquiry would be conducted by the Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety (CCRS), Lucknow.

The official said the probe was ordered after Amritsar MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla met Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on October 23 and demanded such an investigation.

The official pointed out that the ministry considered Aujla's request and other facts, circumstances and legal provisions.

"As per law, in such cases, it is not mandatory to conduct an inquiry by the Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety, but it is not impermissible either," he said."

He said in the past, a CRS inquiry was conducted into incidents involving trains running over persons on the tracks.

"Though prima facie, railways does not appear to be responsible in Amritsar incident, the issue of inquiry by an independent and technically competent authority not reporting to Railway Ministry was considered and a request was made to the CRS," he said.

At least 60 people died and dozens injured after people watching the burning of an effigy of Ravan on Dussehra were mowed down by a speeding train near Joda Phatak in Amritsar.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has already ordered a magisterial probe.

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