New Delhi, June 6
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today said it has registered an FIR and has formally taken over the probe into the triple train accident that took place last week in Balasore district of Odisha.
A spokesperson in the CBI said, “The agency has registered a case on the request of Ministry of Railways, consent of the Odisha Government and further orders from Department of Personnel relating to the train accident involving Coromandel Express, Yashwantpur-Howrah Express and a goods train at Bahanaga Bazar in the State of Odisha on June 2, 2023.”
The spokesperson said the CBI has taken over the probe by re-registering the case, which was earlier registered on June 3, 2023 at Balasore Government Railway Police Station (GRPS) in Cuttack district regarding the said accident. He went on to add that a CBI team has already reached Balasore and visited the accident site.
The CBI stepping in to investigate the case is a significant move as officials say only a detailed probe by a top agency can establish criminal tampering, if any, with the point machine or the electronic interlocking system, or if the train changed tracks due to reconfiguration or a signaling error.
Railway officials had earlier indicated that possible “sabotage” and tampering with the interlocking system, which detects the presence of trains, led to the accident.
The crash, involving two passenger trains and a goods train, killed 278 people and injured more than 800.
The CBI inquiry will focus on answering all queries regarding the accident, the worst in the country in the last two decades. Sources said all angles will be investigated, including mechanical error, human error, and sabotage.
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