Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced on Sunday that the root cause of the tragic three-train crash in Balasore district, Odisha, has been identified. He stated that the affected tracks will be restored for normal services by Wednesday. Vaishnaw revealed that the issue stemmed from a problem with the point machine and electronic interlocking systems.
While addressing the media, the minister clarified that the accident was not linked to the anti-collision system known as ‘Kavach’. He emphasised that the change made to the electronic interlocking system, which resulted in the accident, had been identified. The collision involved the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, and a goods train. The incident occurred near the Bahanaga Bazar station in Balasore on Friday evening, claiming the lives of at least 288 people and leaving over 1,100 injured.
Vaishnaw assured that a comprehensive investigation into the accident had been completed, and further details would be available once the commissioner of railway safety (CRS) submitted the report. He stated, “The root cause of the horrifying incident has been identified… I do not want to go into details. Let the report come out. I will just say that the root cause and the people responsible have been identified.”
The railway minister also said compensation had been provided to the families of around 300 accident victims. He personally visited the patients and doctors at Soro Hospital and informed that special trains were being arranged to transport patients back to their homes after treatment. Efforts were being made to restore the tracks on a war footing, with one of the main lines already repaired.
Vaishnaw emphasized that the ‘Kavach’ system was not connected to the accident, reiterating that it occurred due to changes in the electronic interlocking system. He refuted the claims made by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, stating that her remarks were not actual.
According to the preliminary probe report, the signal for the up main line was given and then taken off for the Coromandel Express. However, the train entered the loop line, collided with the goods train, and derailed. Meanwhile, the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express passed through the down main line, resulting in two of its coaches derailing and overturning, as stated in the report.
-With Agency Inputs
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