Investigation Reveals Signal Error as Cause of Odisha Train Crash; Restoration Efforts Underway


Preliminary investigations into the tragic train crash in Odisha’s Balasore district have pointed to a signal error as the root cause of the accident. The collision occurred when the Coromandel Express, despite being given a signal to enter the main line, was diverted to the loop line and crashed into a stationary goods train. The incident, which took place near the Bahanaga Bazar station, resulted in the death of at least 275 people and left over 1,100 injured.

Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced that the bodies had been recovered, and efforts were focused on restoring the track by Wednesday morning. Vaishnaw also stated that the Commissioner of Railway Safety had conducted an investigation into the matter and identified the cause of the incident and those responsible for it. According to him, the accident occurred due to a change in electronic interlocking.

The crash involved the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express and the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, both of which were carrying approximately 2,500 passengers. The collision took place in the evening, with the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express colliding with the scattered coaches of the Coromandel Express on the adjacent track. The high speed of both trains has been cited as a contributing factor to the high number of casualties.

Twenty-one coaches were derailed and severely damaged, trapping hundreds of passengers. Rescue operations concluded on Saturday afternoon, followed by the commencement of restoration work. However, over 150 trains had to be canceled, diverted, or short-terminated due to the disruption of traffic on the affected route.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the site of the accident and received briefings from Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and disaster management teams. He expressed his deep sorrow and promised that no one found guilty would be spared, emphasizing the need for a thorough investigation. The Prime Minister also emphasized the importance of prioritizing the safety of rail passengers.

The tragedy has prompted condolences from around the world, with several states and political parties canceling their programs. Opposition leaders called for accountability and stressed the importance of passenger safety in the railways. While questions arose regarding the failure of the anti-train collision system “Kavach,” railway officials clarified that it was not available on the affected route.

As the nation mourns this devastating incident, efforts are underway to restore the track and resume train services. The investigation will continue to determine the exact sequence of events leading to the crash. The accident serves as a stark reminder of the crucial need to prioritize safety measures and ensure the well-being of passengers traveling on the Indian Railways.


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