A weld failure was the cause of the derailment of the Muzaffarpur-Yesvantpur Express between the Chitheri and Mahendravadi stations near Arakkonam on April 10, according to a preliminary report submitted to the Railway Ministry by the Commissioner of Railway Safety S. K. Mittal.

One person was killed and 32 passengers injured when 11 coaches of the train derailed near Chitheri on the Arakkonam-Katpadi section, about 90 km from here.

In the report, the commission states that the accident occurred due to “failure of equipment — weld failure”. The findings are under the consideration of the government, a press note said.

The one-man commission had held a two-day statutory inquiry on April 15 and 16 and collected evidence from the accident site, including extent and damage to the wheels, coach position and damage to tracks.

The commission had also documented depositions from about 40 Railway employees across mechanical, electrical and safety divisions as well as from the public to arrive at the finding.

The commission’s findings come even as Indian Railways is trying to improve the reliability of rails and welds, which account for a significant share of civil engineering-related accidents.

While overall, engineering-related accidents on the railway system have been on the decline, what continues to be a source of concern is the high proportion of rail and rail weld failures in such mishaps.

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