The Railway Board said on Sunday that the freight train involved in the Odisha triple rail accident was carrying iron ore, leading to the huge number of casualties and injuries. Jaya Varma Sinha, Member of Operation and Business Development, Railway Board said the freight train was not derailed but as it was carrying iron ore the maximum impact was on Coromandel Express. Meanwhile, Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena said the revised death toll was 275 instead of 288.
275 killed and more than a thousand injured after three trains – Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express, SMVT Bengaluru-Howrah SF Express and a freight train – collided after the Coromandel Express derailed near Bahanaga railway station in Odisha’s Balasore district on Friday night.
“The freight train has not derailed. Since the freight train was carrying iron ore, the maximum damage from the impact fell on the Coromandel Express. This is the cause of a large number of deaths and injuries. The derailed bogies of the Coromandel Express came on the down line and hit the last two bogies of the Yeshwantpur Express crossing at 126 km/h,” Sinha said in a press briefing on Sunday.
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She added that preliminary findings identified a signaling problem as the cause of the accident.
“We are still waiting for the detailed report from the Railway Safety Commissioner. Only Coromandel Express had an accident. The train was traveling at about 128 km/h,” she said.
Sinha said the locomotive pilot who suffered injuries in the accident said he did not miss any signals and did not drive too fast.
“Safety is the top priority for Railways. We make sure that the evidence is not tampered with and that any witnesses are not compromised. The driver of the train who was seriously injured said the train did not move forward until he received a ‘green signal He also didn’t jump on a signal and the train didn’t go too fast,” the official said.
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Meanwhile, Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena told ANI news agency that the revised death toll was 275, instead of 288, of which 88 have been identified.
“The death toll is 275 and not 288. The data has been checked by the DM and it has been found that some bodies have been double counted, so the death toll has been revised to 275. Out of 275, 88 bodies have been identified,” he said.
Of the 1,175 injured, 793 have been discharged after treatment, he added.
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