Heard blast before train derailed: Driver

Jhargram (West Bengal), May 29 (IANS) The driver of the ill-fated Gyaneshwari Express Saturday filed a police complaint saying he had heard a ‘blasting sound’ and felt a jerk before the derailment of the train near this West Bengal town Friday. At least 95 people were killed in the accident.

Driver B.K. Das, who lodged the complaint against ‘unidentified miscreants’ at the Jhargram Government Railway Police (GRP) station, claimed that he heard a blast under the engine before seeing smoke billowing out ahead of the derailment.

He said he also experienced a jerk and then applied the emergency brakes before the 13 coaches of the train derailed.

Das said he and the assistant driver Niranjan Singh then saw a train coming from the opposite direction on the other track, and despite its driver’s efforts to stop it, the train collided with the coaches of the Gyaneshwari Express that had rolled over onto the down line.

The complaint was filed under sections 150 (maliciously wrecking or attempting to wreck a train) and 151 (damage to or destruction of certain railway properties) of the Railways Act.