Three persons were injured, one seriously, after 10 coaches of the Pune-bound Jhelum Express derailed in Phillaur at around 3.10 AM on Tuesday. Although preliminary probe did not point to sabotage, investigators said a thorough inquiry is required to establish cause. The 24-coach train had around 900 passengers and began its journey from Jammu. The incident happened on the Jalandhar-Ludhiana stretch.
“There was a loud bang, as if something exploded and then suddenly we felt the entire coach losing balance and people screaming. Many of them were still sleeping and the jolt woke them up suddenly,” said a passenger. Other passengers The Indian Express spoke to described their experience as a “nightmare” and said that “a miracle saved them.” One air conditioned coach (B5), a pantry car and eight sleeper coaches (S1 to S8) were derailed in the incident.
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Injured passengers — Arvind Yadav and Sandeep Kumar from Jhansi, and Jai Prakash from Delhi — were injured and were rushed to Civil Hospital of Ludhiana. Their conditions were reported to be stable. The other passengers were shifted to Ludhiana railway station ahead where they were provided food. Later, the administration provided for those people who were willing to continue their journey by bus. The remaining passengers were later shifted to 11 other coaches fitted to the Jhelum Express’ engine, which was unaffected, to continue their onward journey.
“Ludhiana-Jalandhar route is one of the busiest stretch in Ferozepur railways division and almost 100 trains were affected due to derailment. The work is on the clear the tracks of mangled coaches,” said Anuj Prakash, divisional railways manager (DRM), Ferozepur division. Almost 80 trains were delayed or cancelled along this route. ‘No signs of sabotage’
DRM Anuj Prakash said, “We have checked if tracks were sabotaged but it appears to be a technical lapse. However, we can rule out nothing till formal inquiry is done.” However, ADGP railways police Rohit Chaudhary completely ruled out sabotage. “There are no signs of any sabotage. It is now an internal case of technical lapse and an inquiry by headquarters will bring out where the lapse happened and if someone was responsible for it.”
Injured passenger rue ‘poor’ treatment Meanwhile, the injured who were brought to Ludhiana Civil Hospital complained of poor treatment. Arvind Yadav from Jhansi, who suffered injuries on the face and a fracture in his arm, rued said, “The staff here was first unable to detect my vein and kept on injecting the needle aimlessly. Then none came to change fluid bottle when it finished and the way they gave stitched my cuts showed lack of expertise.” Senior Medical Officer (SMO) at the hospital Dr Sukhjiwan Kakkar denied all allegations but later Arvind Yadav and friend Sandeep Kumar were shifted to SPS Hospital. Kakkar claimed that they were shifted due to “other reasons”.