Family pained after train driver accused of Bengal accident

July 20th, 2010 - 5:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, July 20 (IANS) Family members of Madhab Chandra Dey, the Uttar Banga Express driver who died on the spot in the Sainthia train tragedy, are aghast at the railways finding fault with him for the accident.

Dey’s three daughters, now in mourning, Tuesday demanded a high level enquiry into the accident to unearth the truth and criticised the railway board chairman for blaming their father for the accident.

“We want a high level enquiry into the accident. My father was not only a good driver but also a good human being. My father cannot be so negligent while driving. These are all rubbish claims that my father was sleeping while driving the train,” said Moonmoon, one of the daughters.

Dey has also been the proud recipient of the ‘Driver of the Year Award’ from the railways. He was only 22 months away from his retirement, said a family member.

“My father was not an irresponsible person. My father was a very good train driver. He has been in this profession since 1975. If someone is saying that the accident occurred due to my father’s negligence then it’s a lie to cover up some drawbacks,” said daughter Soma, breaking into tears.

Railway Board Chairman Vivek Sahai Monday told reporters that from prima facie evidence it appears that Dey and assistant driver Nirmal Mandal neither used the brake nor did they make any effort to apply the emergency brake to stop the Uttar Banga Express from ramming into the Vananchal Express. Mandal also perished in the accident on the spot.

“My father has died. He will not come back. But we want that my father’s distinguished career should not be ‘blotted’ like this. We don’t want him to be disgraced and maligned after his death. It is an insult to my father’s soul,” said Juthika, another daughter of the driver.

“I had been to the spot yesterday (Monday) but at that time none of the officials said that the accident happened due to my father’s negligence. Everybody said his death is a great loss to railways. And now they are blaming my father for the accident. We will not tolerate such insults,” she added.

At least 63 people were killed and 150 injured in the accident that occurred when the engine of the Uttar Banga Express ploughed through three coaches of the stationary Vananchal Express at the small Sainthia station in West Bengal in the dead of the night Monday.

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