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News Entry# 286851
Nov 26 2016 (15:33)  Kanpur train tragedy: Lower Parel workshop under scanner over maintenance job of rake (
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News Entry# 286851     
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Mumbai: The train rake that derailed at Kanpur on Sunday, killing 148 passengers, had undergone intensive maintenance at Western Railway's Lower Parel workshop some 45 days before the accident.
Several officials involved in maintenance of the rake at the workshop fear that the adverse findings could lead to severe punishment.
A senior official said, "The rake belonged to Western Railway even though it plied between Indore and Patna. While 14 coaches got derailed, it is not clearly established whether the accident was a result of track failure. There is a possibility that a
defect in a coach, axle or wheel set may have led to its derailment, or perhaps a combination of multiple factors."
Officials associated with the Lower Parel workshop such as the chief rolling stock engineer, coaching, and others will depose before the commission of railway safety, which will pose questions about the maintenance practice. The workshop undertakes maintenance of around 1,500 ICF and LHB coaches every year.
Safety of train operations is dependent on proper maintenance of tracks, rolling stock and railway assets. These are required to be maintained and replaced at regular intervals for smooth and safe running of trains. When a rolling stock is sent to the workshop, a pre-inspection is carried out by the inspection team. Based on this pre-inspection, all major and minor sub-assemblies of rolling stock are repaired or replaced. The inspection also includes an ultrasonic test to detect cracks and a wheel's profile.
A senior official said, "Even though the minister of state has blamed a rail fracture, other evidence will have to considered, including the statement given by passengers who traveled in the ill-fated rake."
Sources said some passengers, especially those from the S-1 coach, had complained of an unusual sound emanating as soon as the train moved out of Indore. Some also complained at Jhansi but many thought it fit to tackle the problem at Kanpur.
The official said, "The coach should have been detached soon after the complaints came in. Perhaps a defect in the coach, wheel or axle could have led to the derailment."
At the intermediate stations, the problem could not be tracked as the rake could not be inspected thoroughly in the absence of a pit line on a running track.
Senior divisional mechanical engineer (carriage and wagon) Navaid Talib, divisional engineer M K Mishra, senior section engineer Ambika Ojha, section engineer Iswar Das and senior section engineer Sushil Kumar Gupta were suspended for dereliction of duty while the DRM of Jhansi division S K Aggarwal was transferred.
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