Railway Minister assures tracks to resume normal services by Wednesday; crash cause identifiedtext_fields
Balasore: According to railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, the main reason for the three-train accident in Odisha's Balasore district has been found, and the affected tracks will be back in use by Wednesday.
He said that point machines and electronic interlocking are at fault.
Vaishnaw claimed that the change to the electronic interlocking that caused the accident had been found while dismissing that the accident had any connection to the "Kavach" anti-collision system.
The crash involving Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express and Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, which were carrying around 2,500 passengers, and a goods train occurred around 7 pm on Friday near the Bahanaga Bazar station in Balasore. At least 288 people were dead and over 1,100 injured in the accident.
"The enquiry into the accident has been completed and as soon as the commissioner of railway safety (CRS) provides his report all the details will be known.
"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 said.
He also said the kin of around 300 accident victims has been provided compensation. "We met the patients and doctors at Soro Hospital. Special trains are being run from Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Ranchi, Kolkata and other places so that patients can reach homes after treatment." Speaking to reporters at the accident site, Vaishnaw said restoration work was being carried out on a war footing and tracks have already been laid on one of the main lines.
"We have mobilised all resources. I also want to say that Kavach has nothing to do with the accident. This accident occurred due to changes to the electronic interlocking system. The remarks of (West Bengal chief minister) Mamata Banerjee is not true," Vaishnaw said.
The preliminary probe report, a copy of which is with PTI, said the signal was given and taken off for the up main line for train number 12841 (Coromandel Express). The train entered the loop line, dashed with the goods train and derailed. In the meantime, train number 12864 (Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express) passed through the down main line and two of its coaches derailed and capsized, the report said.
With PTI inputs