Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw who reviewed the restoration work at the Balasore triple train collision site on Sunday, said that the accident that claimed the lives of 288 passengers happened due to a change in electronic interlocking.
The Balasore train accident where two passenger trains and a goods carriage were involved claimed 288 lives so far while over 1,000 people sustained injuries. Ashwini Vaishnaw while speaking to ANI said that the commissioner of railway safety has investigated the matter and identified the cause of the incident and the people responsible for it.
“The commissioner of railway safety has investigated the matter and let the investigation report come but we have identified the cause of the incident and the people responsible for it… It happened due to a change in electronic interlocking,” Vaishnaw told ANI.
The Railway Minister further added the focus right now is on the restoration and the target is to finish the work by Wednesday morning.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspected the site yesterday. We will try to restore the track today. All bodies have been removed. Our target is to finish the restoration work by Wednesday morning so that trains can start running on this track,” Vaishnaw added.
Earlier on Saturday, the Railways Ministry informed that the restoration work was ongoing at war footing in Odisha’s Balasore.
In a tweet, the Ministry of Railways said that the officials are closely monitoring the restoration process at the accident site.”Restoration work is ongoing at Warfooting at the train accident site in Balasore, Odisha with 1000+ Manpower working tirelessly. At present, more than 7 Poclain Machines, 2 Accident Relief Trains, and 3-4 Railway and Road Cranes have been deployed for early restoration. Officials are closely monitoring the restoration process at the accident site,” read the post on the official Twitter handle of the Railways ministry.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) deployed Mi-17 helicopters for the evacuation of the deceased and injured. According to the Eastern Command, IAF coordinated the rescue efforts with the civil administration and Indian Railways.
The preliminary report on the tragedy said the three-way accident involved Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Coromandel Express and a goods train on three separate tracks at Bahanaga Bazar Station in Balasore district.
As many as 17 coaches of these two passenger trains were derailed and severely damaged in the accident on Friday evening.