The Odisha police has filed charges of “causing death by negligence and endangering life” in the Balasore train accident, which tragically claimed the lives of 275 individuals. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will soon take over the investigation. According to the First Information Report (FIR), the specific culpability of railway employees has yet to be determined and will be revealed during the course of the investigation.
Exclusive access to the FIR was obtained by NDTV, shedding light on the details of the case. Indian Railways has requested a CBI inquiry into the accident, expressing concerns that the electronic interlocking system, responsible for detecting the presence of trains, may have been tampered with.
Notably, the “Kavach” automatic train protection system, developed indigenously, was not available on the route where the accident occurred. Despite this, a railway official has mentioned that even if it had been in place, it may not have been effective in preventing such a tragic incident.
Sources within the CBI indicate that a team will be dispatched to the accident site tomorrow to assume control of the case from the Railway Police in Cuttack. The CBI will seek the cooperation of the Commission of Railway Safety during its investigation.
The Odisha government has revised the death toll from the three-train crash to 275 from the previously reported 288, noting that some bodies had been counted twice earlier. However, with 187 bodies yet to be identified, the local administration faces the challenge of maintaining and properly handling them until they can be claimed by the victims’ families.