- Negligence, trespassing people responsible for accident, says probe
- Railways wasn't informed of event near the tracks, it added
- 61 people were killed when train ran over people watching Dussehra event
Last month's accident in Amritsar that claimed 61 lives when a train ran over people watching a Dussehra event was caused by the "negligence" and "trespassing" of those standing near the railway tracks, an inquiry by the Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety or CCRS has concluded.
Clearing the railways of any fault, the CCRS said that the railway authorities weren't even informed by the organisers or the local administration that event was taking place near the tracks.
"In his report, the CCRS S K Pathak has concluded that the reason for the accident is negligence of persons who trespassed on railway tracks," news agency IANS quoted official sources as saying.
The CCRS has noted that there were around 50 policemen on duty for the Dussehra function on October 19 near Joda Pathak in Amritsar where the effigies of Ravan and others were being burnt.
"Some of the policemen tried to move the crowd away from tracks but the crowd did not listen to them," they said quoting from the report.
The probe report found that the spot of the accident was not visible till the train was within 250 meters of the crowd of revellers due to a S-curve on the route.
The incident took place at around 7 pm and there was smoke in the atmosphere due to firecrackers and burning of Ravan's effigy.
"Otherwise visibility on straight track with headlights on is 200 meters," the report said.
The probe also pointed out that the permissible maximum speed on the route was 100 kmph and at the time of the accident the train was running at a speed of 82 kmph when the driver saw the crowd and applied emergency brakes.
"In trial, it was seen that braking distance of the DEMU (Diesel Engine Multiple Unit) at this speed is 389 meters for similar speed," the source said.
Besides the railways inquiry, the Punjab government had also commissioned a magisterial probe into the incident which filed its findings on Wednesday.
(With inputs from IANS)