No one responsible for Deoghar ropeway accident, says probe report

Ranchi (IANS) The ropeway accident that left three persons dead at Trikut Hill in Jharkhand’s Deoghar district completed one year on April 10. The report submitted by the committee that was formed by the state government to investigate the incident said the accident happened due to formation of a bubble of hydrogen formed in the shaft of the engine.

The investigation report said: “A bubble of hydrogen had formed in the shaft of the engine through which the ropeway was being operated. Due to this bubble, the shaft broke and after that the rope made of iron came off the reel. After this, one trolley fell down and the remaining 23 trolleys remained hanging in the air.

The Jharkhand High Court has expressed its dissatisfaction with the investigation report and directed the state government to file a fresh report during the hearing.

Trikut hill in Deoghar is a famous religious tourist centre. On April 10, at around 6 p.m., three people were killed and more than one and a half dozen injured when one of the ropeway wires broke.

A total of 78 people on 23 out of 24 trolleys of the ropeway were trapped mid-air. Of these, 28 people were rescued on the same day, while 48 people were left hanging without any food or water for the next 36 to 45 hours.

After 45 hours of high-risk rescue operations by the Indian Air Force, the National Disaster Response Force, the Indo Tibetan Border Police and Army, 46 of trapped people were saved, while two died during the rescue operation. One victim died even before the trolley fell.

It was revealed that the private company running the ropeway neither maintained it as per norms nor did it rectify the lapses revealed in the safety audit conducted three weeks before the accident by a government agency.

The agency identified 24 defects in the 1,770m ropeway, which were ignored by the company.

The Jharkhand government issued a notification for the formation of an inquiry committee headed by state Finance Secretary, Ajoy Kumar Singh on April 19.

The committee was instructed to the complete the investigation within 60 days but it only reached the accident spot 70 days after the accident to start its work.

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