Odisha Train Accident: Railway Board Recommends CBI Probe Into Balasore Crash, Says Ashwini Vaishnaw

Odisha Train Accident: The Railway Board has recommended a CBI probe into the Balasore train crash, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said. In a recently given interview, the Railway Minister said that looking at all the circumstances related to the massive triple train crash in Odisha, the board has recommended a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The Indian railways on Sunday virtually ruled out driver error and system malfunction, indicating a possible “sabotage” and tampering of the electronic interlocking system behind the triple train accident that claimed at least 275 lives in Odisha on June 2, 2023.

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the “root cause” of the accident and the “criminals” responsible for it have been identified. However, the Railway Board has further recommended a probe by the premiere agency, given that the incident is touted as the worst rail disaster in decades. The Indian Railways earlier updated the number of deaths fro, 288 to 275 people. More than 900 people were injured in the incident.

As per the preliminary investigation, due to a change made in the electronic interlocking and point machine, the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandal Express entered the up loop line speeding at 128 kmph and rear ended on a goods train carrying iron ore near the Bahanaga Bazaar Railway station at around 18.55 Hrs on Friday. The impact was so severe that 4-coaches of the Coromandal Express derailed and spilled on the adjacent track. 

Here, the SMVB – HWH Superfast Express was travelling at 116 kmph and the coaches of the Coromandal Express crashed into a couple of the coaches of the superfast express. The triple train accident is one of the worst accidents not only in India, but globally. 

The government declared an ex-gratia to the people affected and as per the announcement, ex-gratia of Rs 50,000 for those with minor injuries, Rs 2 lakhs for those grievously injured, and Rs 10 lakhs in case of death is being given.