Written by Staff Writer
01 May, 2014 | 5:48 pm
The express trains Rajarata Rajina and the Deyata Kirula collided head on near the Pothuhera train station on Wednesday, injuring 68 individuals out of which 45, are still receiving treatment at the Kurunegala Teaching hospital.
Joining Sirasa TV’s Press Release on Thursday, Minister of Transport, Kumara Welgama spoke in this regard.
[quote]I can say that this incident was a result of negligence. because within a few hours I went there and I walked along the rail track where the accident happened and I saw two signals – the outer signal and the inner signal. The point was turned but the signal was against. I was told by the high-ranking railway officials, that after the point is broken the signals do not work, that they get blocked. However, at that moment both the outer and inner signals were against. From that level we can see that the train came when the signals were not working. But, it cannot be confirmed.[/quote]
Q: According to a newspaper, the Assistant Driver of the Deyata Kirula express train had said that he saw the Rajarata Rajina train had stopped, and that though he tried to stop the train by pressing the brakes it had not worked. Reportedly the driver had also said that the brakes of the Deyata Kirula express train had been low when plying from Colombo. So, shouldn’t the assistant driver have informed the authorities of this and stopped the train from plying to Pallai?
[quote]I met the assistant driver while he was receiving treatment at the hospital. He did not tell me anything of the sort.[/quote]
Minister Welgama further stated:
[quote]The Deyata Kirula Express train is a S-11 model – that’s Indian made. There is something that is very similar to the black box of airplanes (in the train) . Through that black box we can get to know all the details. If the brakes were used or not… the speed the train went… That would be very beneficial to our investigation.[/quote]
Q: Were you able to obtain the black box?
[quote]Yes, we took the black box. The complete details are in that black box. So, we can see whether what they are saying is right or not.[/quote]
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