Odisha train accident: Restoration work underway, ‘root cause’ identified, says Railways Minister | Top points

As many as1/"> 275 people have been killed, and over 1,000 injured even as restoration work continues after three-passenger trains– Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express and a goods train– derailed in Odisha’s Balasore late Friday evening.

The incident marks the worst train tragedy in the country in two decades. Prima facie, the accident was caused due to a signalling error, which led the Coromandel Express to go off its designated track and ram a stationary goods train from behind.

Here’s what we know so far on the Odisha train accident case

📌 Over 1,000 workers have been involved in restoration work at the accident site at Bahanaga Bazar station in Balasore since Saturday evening. Heavy machinery, including seven pocketing machines, a 140-tonne railway crane, and four road cranes were deployed for the restoration process.

NDRF personnel were seen packing their belongings, generators and equipment, in what indicated the winding up of the rescue operations.

📌 Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan reviewed the restoration work and said the root cause of the accident has been identified and the track will likely be restored by today. “Restoration work is going on at a fast pace,” said Vaishnaw. He added that the rail safety commissioner will be submitting its inquiry report soon.

Speaking to news agency ANI, he said, “The root cause of this accident has been identified. PM Modi inspected the site yesterday. We will try to restore the track today”.

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Odisha train accident LIVE: Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw inspect the accident site in Balasore on Sunday morning (Express)

📌 All 21 bogies which derailed after the trains collided were cleared, and fresh tracks were placed. Men were seen laying and linking tracks and some atop a railway inspection car worked on the fresh tracks to repair overhead wires. Damaged bogies were seen laid off the tracks.

📌 Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the family members of those killed and Rs 1 lakh to the injured from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, the CMO said. Patnaik also inspected the site and conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families.

📌 Close to 137 survivors of the train accident in Odisha arrived in Chennai on Sunday morning by a special train from Bhadrak.  An official release said that a screening procedure and medical examinations were conducted for 36 passengers and three of them were admitted as in-patients at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital.

📌 Meanwhile, Congress MP Kapil Sibal attacked the government over the accident incident and said one minister cannot deal with large ministries such as Railways as well as Communications, Electronics and Information Technology, as was being done by Ashwini Vaishnaw, news agency PTI reported.