Traffic on the Arakkonam sector was hit following the derailment of Muzaffarpur-Yesvantpur Express on Wednesday. Southern Railway General Manager Rakesh Mishra told reporters that while the Katpadi-Chennai track was cleared for traffic by engineers, the down line (Chennai-Bangalore) would be restored for normal traffic by 11 a.m. on Thursday.

While one crane was moved to the spot to remove the heavy parts of the train strewn in various directions, another crane would be pressed into service to aid the restoration work, he said. Asked about the cause of the accident, Mr. Mishra said S.K. Mittal, Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS), Bangalore, would conduct an enquiry into the cause of the accident with officials and personnel of Southern Railway and East Central Railway participating in it. The CRS would be conducting the enquiry in Chennai on Monday and Tuesday (April 15 and 16).

The inquiry, which will commence at 11 a.m. on these days, will gather evidence on the incident from passengers and members of the public. Any member of the public having knowledge relating to the accident and matter connected therewith and desiring to give evidence may do so at the above place in the dates of inquiry or write to the Commissioner of Railway Safety, Southern Circle, Bangalore or Fax. No. 080 – 22260650.

On frequency of accidents near the Chitheri station, the General Manager said the Railways was doing its best to avoid accidents. “We have increased the night and surprise checks of the tracks”, he said.

Minister meets injured

Kotla Jaya Surya Prakash Reddy, Union Minister of State for Railways, who visited the accident spot at about 4.30 p.m. said a solatium of Rs.two lakh would be given to the family of deceased, Saran Podi (52), s/o Pankoi Sawan of Araji Jallea village in Malda district of West Bengal.

A compensation of Rs.50,000 each would be given to the seriously injured passengers and Rs.10,000 each to those who sustained simple injuries, he said.

The Railway Minister later visited the Government Hospital, Arakkonam and enquired about the condition of the injured passengers and the treatment given at the hospital.

K.C.Veeramani, State Health Minister, accompanied by the Collector, visited the Arakkonam Hospital.

Earlier, Satheesh Kumar Mittal, CRS inspected the accident spot.

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