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Kalka train mishap: Britain hails India's response

Kalka: Britain on Sunday praised the Indian authorities for their response to derailment of Kalka-Shimla chartered heritage train near Kalka, in which two British nationals were killed and 13 others injured, and said it was
PTI September 13, 2015 20:30 IST
PTI

Kalka: Britain on Sunday praised the Indian authorities for their response to derailment of Kalka-Shimla chartered heritage train near Kalka, in which two British nationals were killed and 13 others injured, and said it was pleased that an investigation has been announced into the accident.

British high commissioner to India, Sir James Bevan, who arrived in Chandigarh on Sunday from Delhi, met with the injured who are admitted in a private hospital at Mohali, besides meeting other UK nationals including those who had received minor injuries and were discharged after first-aid and other check-up on Friday.

He also met the railway officials and the Himachal Pradesh authorities who were present here.

"I want to praise Indian authorities for their response to this tragic accident. I have spoken to Police, to the railway authorities, to the medical staff treating several British nationals who were involved, to thank them for first class effort to support and help all the British people who were involved," Bevan said addressing a press conference here this evening.

He said he was there to lead the British government's response to the train accident that took place on Friday.

Asked if those nationals who were not injured or had escaped with minor injury would be going back now, he replied, "obviously, we are pleased that the authorities have announced an investigation.

"They have to decide for themselves, each of our citizens what they want to do. Some of them have already decided that they will continue with their holiday here in India, others for now, are remaining here in Chandigarh and we will give them advice and support in whatever they wish to do next".

About the condition of three seriously injured admitted to a hospital at Mohali, Bevan said, "... We obviously hope and indeed expect that all three will make a good recovery."

The high commissioner expressed "deep condolences" to the family and friends and loved ones of two British nationals, who lost their lives in the accident on Friday.

Asked if any advisory for future will be issued to British citizens who use the narrow gauge rail track, he said, "in relation to the accident itself it is not for me to comment, we will wait to see the results of the investigation".

"Every year, over eight lakh British nationals come to India, almost all of those visits are trouble-free. British people enjoy coming to India and they are very welcome in India, we want that to continue. So, I don't see any reason why we should change our travel advice in relation to India as a whole because of this incident," he said.

The British high commissioner also said he met with "the partners of the two British nationals who lost their lives and conveyed personally my condolence for their sad loss."

He said he visited the British nationals in hospital and spoke to them and assured them of all necessary support from the government.