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Iranian Railroad Co. issues communique on train explosion in Neishabour

Tehran, March 18, IRNA -- The Islamic Republic of Iran Railroad Company issued a communique on Wednesday on questions around the February 18 deadly cargo train blast in Neishabour's Khayyam Station.

In the communique we read, "The National Inspectorate Organization had earlier on March 17th issued a communique on the last incidence, but the Islamic Republic Broadcasting (IRIB) has distorted a part of it and then reflected it on various Iranian radio and television networks."

The railway company has announced it has still not officially received the text of that communique, but has been informed of its authentic text through different authentic Internet sites.

The Iranian state railway company has in its communique singled out points from the text of the inspectorate organization's announcement as follows:

1) In the report prepared by the Incidents Supreme Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railroad Company, that is the highest authorized body to opine on rail incidents, it is confirmed that deficiency in harnessing the train's compartments at Abu Muslim Station is a proved fact, and the involved officials have been introduced to concerned officials.

2) Blocking the railway at Abu Muslim Station could not have stopped the fleeing train, because according to the prevailing evidence, the runaway train compartments have broken the blockage at that station and continued their doomed path.

3) It seems like the officials at the National Inspectorate Organization are not familiar with articles 12 and 16 of the General Laws of the Iranian railroad, regarding the rail traffic.

4) Concerned officials at Ministry of Roads and Transportation, as well as those at the Islamic Republic of Iran Railroad have been busy since the earliest moments after the incidence, clearing up the mess, providing the railway for regular trains' traffic, estimating the inflicted losses and remunerating them.

We have also been busy answering the people, and are ready to answer the concerned officials in that and any other regard. But introducing certain people as the culprits involved in the incidence, and announcing it on mass media is definitely against the legal judiciary procedures, and can definitely disturb the logical, fair, and proper tackling of the matter.

5) The Road and Transportation Ministry and Iranian state railroad company have done their best to increase the security factor in rail transportation, and sufficient proof for that is the statistics on rail incidents during the past 10 years. Yet, we are ready to receive any well intentioned comments in that regard, too, and welcome it.

Iran's National Inspectorate Organization on a report published on Wednesday publicly, has considered the Islamic Republic of Iran Railroad company's inspectors delegation, managing director and board of directors, as well as the minister of roads and transportation, sponsible in the occurrence of the deadly incidence, due to their crucial management roles.

An open court hearing will be held for railway staff on grounds of negligence in the dreadful accident in Khayyam station which killed about 350 people on February 18, Director General of Khorassan province Justice Department Ali Akbar Yasafi announced on Monday.

Loosely locked cargo train carrying sulfur, mazut and gas caught fire when it hit another wagon parked at the station which was followed by explosion while firemen were engaged in extinguishing the fire.

All top provincial officials coordinating the fire brigade were killed in the subsequent explosion.

... Payvand News - 4/19/04 ... --

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