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Panki train mishap: Inquiry reveals serious lapses

An inquiry conducted into the Panki train mishap,which claimed 12 lives,has revealed serious lapses on the part of the train driver.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Published: January 19, 2010 4:11:49 pm

An inquiry conducted into the Panki train mishap,which claimed 12 lives,has revealed serious lapses on the part of the train driver in adhering to safety norms in foggy conditions and suggested introduction of anti-collision devices.

48 passengers were injured,13 of them seriously,when the Gorakhdham Express rammed into stationary Prayagraj Express on January 2 at Panki station near Kanpur.

The inquiry conducted by Commissioner of Railway (Safety) P K Bajpai of the North East Circle,Lucknow,disclosed that as against the permissible speed of 8 km in foggy conditions,the driver was found speeding the train “at 40 km per hour”.

Besides,the driver had disregarded rule book and had stopped for less than a minute after spotting the red signal.

The rule book stipulates loco drivers to stop for one minute in day time at the red signal.

The commissioner in his report suggested that Railways consider introducing anti-collision devices to check such mishaps in foggy conditions apart from improving other safety measures.

The suggestion assumes significance in light of recurring train accidents during fog this season in the Allahabad-Tundla stretch.

Three other train accidents were also reported on January 2 between Allahabad and the Tundla stretch due to dense fog.

The train accident at Tundla that occurred on January 16,claiming three lives,was also attributed to poor visibility,prompting Railways to bar passengers from travelling in the rear SLR coach.

The commissioner in its report also suggested improving training programmes for loco drivers operating in routes which has automatic signalling system.

He further suggested that drivers be apprised about “rules and consequences” adequately.

Keeping in view the increasing train accidents,the inquiry report has suggested that adequate distance be maintained between two trains running on the same track and only “one train be allowed to run in a block signalling sections”.

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