LAHORE: Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique has said that a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has been formed to probe the train accident that resulted in the deaths of 19 people.
The JIT comprising three senior officers of Pakistan Army and four senior engineers of the railways were given 72 hours to conduct an inquiry and now, upon request, they have been granted three to four more days to ascertain the facts, he said.
Speaking to the media in Lahore on Monday, Rafique said speculations regarding the incident are completely baseless and today’s press conference was aimed at shunning such reports, Express News reported.
Read: 18 dead as train carrying military troops falls into canal near Gujranwala
“The nuts and bolts of the train had already detached causing the derailment when it took a turn and we possess evidence authenticating this claim. What needs to be ascertained is that was it over-speeding or something else that caused it,” he said.
“The department of railways has improved in two years but questions were raised over the accident which needed to be clarified.”
While lamenting the criticism that he said was aimed at the railways department following the incident, Rafique felicitated the media as a whole for demonstrating responsibility in covering the incident.
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"Patience is needed to await the results of the inquiry committee and, therefore, one must avoid creating hurdles for the department with undue criticism."
At least 18 people, including a senior army officer and the driver of the train were killed when rail carriages full of soldiers and military hardware fell into a canal in Gujranwala on Thursday following the partial collapse of a bridge.