Chief Minister to write to Railway Ministry over the issue; Naidu blames Railways, Centre

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has expressed shock and dismay over the fire accident in the Chennai-bound Delhi-Chennai Tamil Nadu Express near Nellore in the wee hours of Monday, in which several persons were burnt alive.

Immediately after receiving information about the accident, he instructed the district Collector and the Superintendent of Police of Nellore to rush fire extinguishers and medical and health personnel to the accident site to take up rescue and relief operations. He expressed deep sorrow and sympathy to the bereaved families.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister inspected the burnt S-11 coach of the ill-fated train.

Speaking at the accident site, he said he would soon write to the Railway Ministry seeking ‘safety audit’ of all trains. Asked about the cause of mishap, Mr. Reddy said the Railway authorities, forensic experts and the Commissioner of Railway Safety would look into the matter and exact cause would be known only after such a detailed inquiry. He stressed the need for looking into modernisation aspect and taking steps for maximising security.

Meanwhile, TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu, honorary president of YSR Congress Party Y.S. Vijayamma, Rajya Sabha member K. Chiranjeevi and senior BJP leader Bandaru Dattatreya were among those who visited the site of accident.

CBI probe sought

Mr. Naidu blamed the negligence of Railways and the Centre for the accident. Demanding judicial and CBI inquiries into the mishap, Mr. Naidu alleged that the Railways had never implemented the recommendations of the safety commission to prevent the accidents.

Ms. Vijayamma requested the government to extend quality healthcare to those suffered injuries in the accident.

President of Lok Satta Party Jayaprakash Narayan urged the government to initiate all measures to guarantee safety of passengers using technological advances.

Congress MP K. Chiranjeevi demanded generous ex gratia payment to the families of victims by the State and Central governments. State secretary of CPI (M) B.V. Raghavulu, CPI secretary K. Narayana, State president of BJP G. Kishan Reddy and several TDP leaders -- N. Harikrishna, Nama Nageswara Rao, Sujana Chowdary, T. Devender Goud and K. Yerran Naidu extended their sympathies to the bereaved families.