Nitish quickly alighted at Mughalsarai and reached the scene of the accident in the wee hours, but without so much as even the benefit of a preliminary investigation announced that "prima facie evidence suggests the mishap is a case of sabotage". Shaken and grim-faced, he said his conclusions were based on the finding of a "loose fishplate with four bolts lying in a neat line on the left side of the tracks".
The minister's conclusion only triggered a trend in political one-upmanship. As rescue workers and the local police searched for survivors amidst a pall of dust and a melange of bewildering trapped sounds—a mammoth task given the remoteness of the area and the absence of any accident-relief trains at hand—the rjd chief Laloo Prasad Yadav, with his CM wife Rabri Devi, reached the spot and found the moment opportune to take a swipe at his political rival. "Whenever there is a train mishap in Bihar, the tragedy is invariably attributed to sabotage by Nitish Kumar. In just 15 minutes of his arrival, he jumped to the conclusion of sabotage. How did he know this so soon?"