Update : Engine driver ignoring signals, the reason for Pothuhera train accident ? Loss of 100 million rupees : Video
Railway Authorities suspect the cause of today’s train accident at Pothuhera was the negligence of engine drivers of Deyata Kirula Intercity Express train.
A Railway Department Senior Officer stated that the investigations so far suspect the Deyata Kirula Intercity Express has been driven regardless of signals.
The Rajarata Rajina which arrived at the Pothuhera Railway Station at 8.45 this morning was stopped for the Palai bound Deyata Kirula Intercity Express train to pass.
Pothuhera is the only station between Polgahawela and Kurunegala where there is an extra track for oncoming trains to interchange.
At this moment, Deyata Kirula Intercity Express has reached on the same tack on which Matara bound Rajarata Rajina was stationed and rammed into the stationary train.
68 passengers were injured in the accident. Engines of both trains were damaged and several compartments were derailed due to the accident.
A Railway Department official said that the damage has been estimated more than 100 million rupees.
Meanwhile Kurunegala hospital Director Dr. Palitha Epa told our news team that the condition of five passengers out of 45 hospitalized is critical.
Pothuhera police said that with the assistance of the Army and Civil Defence Force, special measure were taken to ensure the safety of belongings left by passengers at the time of the accident.
Meanwhile Transport Minister Kumara Welgama visited Pothuhera today and met the injured as well.
However Engine Drives Association General Secretary K.A. U. Konthasinghe said that nobody should be held responsible until a proper investigation is held with regard to the accident.
Meanwhile Railway Department temporarily cancelled several services on the Northern line after the accident, and Railway Commercial Director Sisira Kumara said that several night-mail services will not run today.