The Northern Railways on Thursday suspended two officials after an initial probe indicated that wrong signalling led to the derailment of New Delhi-bound New Farakka Express in which five people were killed and 30 injured.
They said that the signal inspector and the electrical signal maintainer were suspended to facilitate the probe.
“The indications are that the cause of the accident was prima facie wrong signalling. We have suspended the two on the recommendation of the chief commissioner railway safety to ensure that no evidence is tampered with,” a senior official of the railways said.
Senior section engineer, signalling, Bachrawa, Vinod Kumar Sharma and electrical signal maintainer at Kudanganj, Amarnath have been suspended, Northern Railway spokesperson Deepak Kumar said.
Five coaches and the engine of the New Delhi bound New Farakka Express derailed near Rae Bareli early Wednesday, killing at least five people and seriously injuring nine.
The train (No 14003) had left Malda Town Station in West Bengal at 9.05 am Tuesday and was scheduled to reach New Delhi at 2.35 pm Wednesday. The accident took place in the early hours of Wednesday at 6.10 am.
A medical relief train was deployed and the injured were rushed to Harchanpur PHC and the district hospital. The Railways had also issued helpline numbers for assistance and information.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) from Lucknow and Varanasi, along with the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police had reached the site of the accident to overlook rescue operations. The rescue operation was called off by Wednesday afternoon and several trains on the Varanasi-Lucknow route were cancelled or halted.
The Railways had announced compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the families of the deceased, Rs 1 lakh to the seriously injured and Rs 50,000 to people with minor injuries.