Speed and signal system blamed for Sri Lanka train accident

Nov 01, Colombo: The three-member committee appointed to probe the Alawwa train collision has concluded that the accident near the Alawwa Railway Station on September 17 was due to the speed of the train and the shortcomings of the signal system.

The Committee, headed by retired Supreme Court Judge Nimal Dissanayake has handed over its report Tuesday on the accident to the Minister of Transport Kumara Welgama.

The accident happened when a passenger train bound for Polgahawela on the main Colombo-Kandy track rammed into the Observation Saloon of the Colombo-Kandy express train when the latter was pushing a stalled train bound for Rambukkana.

Sanath Panawellage, a member of the three member committee which conducted investigations on the accident said the main cause was the speed of the Polgahawela-bound train combined with the shortcomings of the signal system.

The accident killed five people including a foreign national and injured 33 people. The driver and his assistant of the Polgahawela-bound train and a railway worker were among the killed.

The damages of the train collision had been estimated over Rs.75 million.

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