India’s federal railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Sunday said the cause of the fatal train accident in the eastern Indian state of Odisha was due to changes made to the point machine and electronic interlocking system.
The train crash resulted in 288 deaths and over 1,000 injuries.
The electronic interlocking system is a safety measure designed to prevent conflicting movements between trains on tracks.
The accident took place on Friday evening near Bahanaga Bazar station in Balasore district, about 171 km northeast of Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha.
According to officials, the Coromandel Express, which runs from Kolkata to Chennai, hit the derailed bogies of a few coaches of the Yashwantpur-Howrah Express, which derailed and toppled onto the adjacent track. A freight train was also said to be involved in the accident.
Vaishnaw stated that the individuals accountable for the accident have been identified and that efforts to restore the railway line are currently underway.
The Indian Railway Board has recommended a probe by the country’s top investigating agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), into Friday’s devastating train accident in which 275 people died and nearly 1,175 were injured, announced Vaishnaw.
“Keeping in mind whatever administrative information we have gathered so far, for further inquiry the Railway Board is sending a recommendation for instituting a CBI probe into the mishap,” the minister told media in the eastern state of Odisha where the accident had occurred.
Federal government sources said that the recommendation shall soon be accepted, and the investigating agency would soon begin its work to look into the cause of the accident and catch the culprits.
In the worst train mishap over the past decade in the country, two passenger trains and one cargo train collided, leading to a large number of human casualties.
Rescue work has been over at the crash site, as round-the-clock efforts were being made to re-lay the broken and uprooted railway tracks and power cables in a bid to make the rail route operational at the earliest.