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CBI to probe Odisha triple-train accident

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The Railway Board has recommended a CBI probe into the Balasore train accident, said Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Sunday (June 4).

The move comes two days after the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, and a goods train were involved in a triple-train crash which left about 275 people dead and 900 people injured.

“We have recommended a CBI probe into the triple train accident that claimed 275 lives and left over 1,000 injured,” Vaishnaw told reporters in Bhubaneswar. The Centre, along with the support of the state government, is giving all support to the injured patients who are admitted to various hospitals in Balasore, Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, he added.

“Patients are being given all facilities in hospitals. There are teams of doctors who are taking care of patients round-the-clock,” Vaishnaw said. He said the government was trying to get in touch with the families of the deceased. We are trying to get in touch with families of the dead, the Minister added.

The Odisha government on Sunday revised the triple train accidents death toll to 275 from 288, and put the number of injuries at 1,175. Chief Secretary PK Jena said some bodies were counted twice.

Three trains — Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express, Bengaluru-Howrah super fast and a goods train — were involved in the pile-up on Friday, now being described as one of India’s worst train accidents. The Coromandel Express rammed into a stationary goods train and many of its carriages overturned including some onto another train – the Bengaluru-Howrah superfast express which was also passing by at the same time on Friday.

Root cause

Earlier today, Vaishnaw said the principal root cause of the  crash , and the people who were responsible for it, have been identified. He told reporters that the Railways is aiming to restore normal services on the affected tracks by Wednesday.

The issue is an electric point machine, a vital device for railway signalling, and electronic interlocking, he said. The reason for the accident has been identified, it is due to the change that was made to electronic interlocking, Vaishnaw added, while denying that the incident had anything to do with the anti-collision system “Kavach”.

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