Northern Railway 's Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) Deepak Kumar on Saturday ascertained that preliminary questioning with the driver has been conducted and prima-facie he is not being seen at fault.
CPRO Kumar said, "To ascertain the cause of the accident, everyone involved is questioned. The driver has also been part of the preliminary investigation and there is no suspension as of yet. Prima facie he is not being seen at fault, he was driving the train at its regular speed. Amritsar-Howrah Mail had passed the same spot two minutes before the accident occurred."
He also asserted that a loco pilot cannot suddenly apply break to a speeding train as it can put life of passengers on the stake.
He said, "A loco pilot has the responsibility of all the passengers travelling in the train. Deploying immediate brake in a speeding train can endanger the lives of thousands of people travelling in it."
"There is a curvature at the spot of the accident. Definitely, it affects the visibility and the incident also happened during the dark so visibility was certainly low," he added.
Sharing the latest update about the injured and the deceased, he said, "As per the latest update 58 people have died in this accident and 48 victims are injured. Among the injured 13 people have grievous injuries and rest 35 has minor injuries. All the injured are being treated in different hospitals including government medical college, Guru Nanak Dev hospital etc."
"The biggest responsibility of the railway is that the injured victims should get the best medical treatment. Doctors from railway and civil are trying their best to ensure a speedy recovery for the victims. MoS Railway and Chairman Railway board have personally inspected the medical facilities being provided to the injured," Kumar added.
Following the accident on the Mananwala-Amritsar section, 16 trains have been diverted and 10 Mail express and 27 passengers have been cancelled. There is also Short Termination of 10 mail Express trains and two passengers train whereas six Mail Express trains have been short originated. Since after the accident, no train has so far passed through the tragedy-struck route.
Another decision on the operation of trains on the track will be taken after a review meeting.
The accident took place yesterday in Choura Bazar near Joda Phatak area of Amritsar where a large number of people were watching the burning of Ravana effigy while standing along the railway tracks when a speeding Jalandhar to Amritsar train crushed them.