The All Ceylon Railway Employees General Union today charged that the report on the Alawwa train collision released today, which stated that the accident was due to the negligence of the railway driver was incorrect and that the report was meant to tarnish their image to protect others politically involved.
The union’s General Secretary S. Manawadu said the three-member committee which comprised a retired Supreme Court judge, the CEO of the Arthur C. Clarke Center and a retired Deputy IGP did not have the skills or the expertise required to conduct the investigation on the train collision.
The committee stated in their report that the collision was because the railway driver did not adhere to the train signals and speed limits and that there were no technical defects in the S11 train.
“It is only engineers who are knowledgeable in the functions of train signals, engines, break systems, control room mechanisms who would be capable of carrying out a thorough investigation. We have found that the findings of the three-member committee are either not true or are inaccurate to a great extent,” Manawadu said.
He said though the committee said that in their findings they discovered that the cause of the Alawwa train collision was because the train driver had not respected the train signals and the speed limited, he said this was not the case.
“The train left the Fort railway station at 2.50pm and was expected to arrive in Alawwa at 4.08pm. However the train arrived seven minutes later at 5.05pm at a speed of 60 kmph. If the train travelled at 80 kmph as the committee said then it would have arrived at the station earlier,” he said.
He said the data locker attached to the train engine which indicates the speed of the train only indicated the speed run in the distance of about five railway stations. “They said they took evidence from unions to clarify information but they did not speak with the relevant officials or with us even though we have been vocal about our lack of
confidence in the way in which the inquiries were carried out,” he said.
To determine the quality of the S11 train which crashed in Alawwa, the committee had inspected another train of the same variety and had failed to closely inspect the train which was involved in the collision, he said. (Olindhi Jayasundere)