station master S B Mohanty was among seven railway employees suspended by the South Eastern Railway (SER) on Wednesday in connection with the June 2 triple-train accident in Odisha’s Balasore district that left 294 people dead.
Among those suspended were the three arrested by the CBI — senior signalling section engineers Arun Kumar
Mohammad Amir Khan
, and technician
— besides a signal technician, a traffic inspector and an assistant divisional signal and telecommunication engineer. The SER is yet to reveal the names of the three.
Odisha train accident update: CBI arrests 3 railway employees
“The seven people suspended are responsible in one way or the other for the mishap. Their negligence led to the incident that could have been averted. That is why the suspension (order) has been issued,” said SER general manager
, who, along with divisional railway manager (Kharagpur) K R Chaudhary, visited the Bahanaga crash site on Wednesday.
Mohanta and Pappu were posted in Balasore, while
was posted at Soro. As the accident site was between Balasore and Soro, the three had a defined role in signalling at Bahanaga Bazar station. The trio will be in CBI remand till Friday.
The suspension of the seven follows the report of the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) that had pointed out the lapses of every employee at Bahanaga level crossing and Soro and Balasore railway stations.
Earlier, the CBI had said that errors in the signalling system had led to the accident. The role of the arrested trio had come to the fore during investigation. However, the agency has so far maintained that it was not deliberate.
The accident also left nearly a 1,000 injured. So far, out of 81 bodies of the dead kept preserved in a separate container at AIIMS Bhubaneswar, 39 have been identified with the help of DNA tests. Of the identified bodies, 37 were handed over to relatives and two were cremated here.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought action-taken reports from the Railway Board chairman and Odisha chief secretary within four weeks on the alleged human rights violation of the accident victims due to negligence and failure of railway authorities.