Balasore train tragedy: CBI makes first arrests, 3 railway employees held

NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday arrested three railway employees in connection with the Balsore train accident that claimed lives of over 290 passengers, making its first arrests in the case.
Senior Section engineer Arun Kumar Mohanta, section engineer Mohammad Amir Khan and technician Pappu Kumar have been arrested under sections 304 and 201 CrPC.

The sections under which they are held are related to destruction of evidence and culpable homicide.

Investigations into the

Balasore train tragedy

have confirmed that error and negligence on the part of the Signal and Telecommunication department staff had led to the tragic rail accident on June 2.

Commissioner of railway safety A M Chowdhary of South-Eastern zone said, “Lapses at multiple levels in the S&T department were responsible for this (Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express) accident.” Some of these lapses included wrong labelling of wires.

On June 2, at Bahanaga Bazar station of




, Coromandel Express hit the rear of a goods train which was standing on the loopline of the station. The last two coaches of Bengaluru-Howrah Express, which were passing on the downline (toward Howrah) at the same time, were hit by the derailed coaches of Coromandel Express and capsized.

While executing signalling work (related to replacement of electric lifting barrier for level crossing gate no 94) at the railway station on June 2 evening, the S&T staff were misled by anomalies like wrong labelling of wires inside the level-crossing location box (2015), which remained undetected for years, past red-flags (2018) were ignored too, which ultimately led to mix-up during maintenance work.
The CRS also found that on May 16 before the accident, the Kharagpur division of South-Eastern Railway had a similar incident at Bankra Nayabaz station, due to wrong wiring and cable fault. “Had corrective measures been taken after this incident, to address the issue of wrong wiring, the accident at Bahanaga Bazar station would not have occurred,” the CRS wrote in his report.

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