The IRCTC suspended one of its officers and the catering manager of the Goa-Mumbai Tejas Express after at least 26 people aboard the premium train were taken ill on Sunday after consuming food served by the railways' catering wing.
The area officer of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) in Madgaon and the on-board catering manager have been placed under suspension pending a fact-finding committee's report and results of test of food samples, railway spokesperson Anil Saxena said here tonight.
Passengers of the Mumbai-bound passengers had complained of uneasiness and nausea after having breakfast served on the train. The train was stopped at the Chiplun station and all 26 people were admitted to the city's Life Care Hospital, Konkan Railway Chairman and Managing Director Sanjay Gupta said on Sunday.
None of the patients was in serious condition, he said.
The Tejas Express, one of the premium trains of the Indian Railways, connects Mumbai and Karmali in Goa.
The IRCTC has also issued a show-cause notice to the caterer of Tejas Express. In an official communication, IRCTC assured that strict action would be taken against the contractor, if found guilty.
"A show-cause notice has been served on the catering contractor and strict action is contemplated if found guilty," reads the IRCTC statement.
It further stated that the train departed at 9 am from Karmali and 230 passengers were served breakfast on board.
A group of seven passengers complained of nausea and were attended to by onboard supervisor. Meanwhile, two groups of passengers numbering 15 also complained of nausea, the statement stated.
A passenger on board who is a doctor attended to them. The train was given a out of course halt at Chiplun and passengers were attended by railway doctor, mentions the statement.
Ambulances were requisitioned and they were admitted to a local hospital and are under observation, IRCTC stated.
As reported by the hospital, none of the patients was in serious condition, IRCTC claimed in its statement.
"An enquiry has been ordered to investigate the cause of the incident. The kitchen where food was prepared was inspected by area officer Madgaon after the incident and samples collected for testing," IRCTC stated.
The IRCTC general manager has proceeded to Chiplun for coordination at the hospital for all arrangements for ensuring the passengers' comfort and onward movement, IRCTC stated.
(With PTI inputs)