Human error or technical fault – what led to the Bengal train tragedy? | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Human error or technical fault – what led to the Bengal train tragedy?

Jun 17, 2024 07:57 PM IST

Even though railway officials have claimed that prima facie it appears to be a human error, a section of railway officials cited other probabilities, including those of technical failures

Hours after the train accident in West Bengal, which left nine people dead and dozens injured, top officials of the Indian Railways claimed that prima facie it was a human error which led to the accident.

A cargo train rammed into Kanchanjunga Express near New Jalpaiguri station in West Bengal on Monday. (AP)
A cargo train rammed into Kanchanjunga Express near New Jalpaiguri station in West Bengal on Monday. (AP)

“A goods train disregarded the signal and hit the Kanchanjunga Express from the rear. Prima facie it appears to be a human error. We will be able to know more about it after the enquiry. He (the driver of the goods train) was supposed to stop but it appears he didn’t stop. These are the first indications,” Jaya Verma Sinha, CEO and chairperson of the railway board told the media in New Delhi.

In the accident, A Kumar, driver of the goods train and A Dey, guard of the Kanchanjunga Express were killed. The assistant driver was alive till reports last came in, but his condition was stated to be critical.

Even though railway officials have claimed that prima facie it appears to be a human error, a section of railway officials, who didn’t wish to be quoted, cited other probabilities, including those of technical failures.

“There could be technical failures also. There are reports that the automatic signalling system had developed some faults interlocking system. It is very easy to blame a person who has died and can’t defend himself,” said a senior official.

Officials said that there could a problem in the interlocking system in that section. “Else how the goods train was allowed without the Kanchanjunga passing that section? It was supposed to be locked,” said an official.

“How come both the driver and the assistant driver disregard multiple signals, yellow and red, and then ram into the rear end of another train at high speed? There has to be some signalling failure,” said another officer.

Union railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, while speaking to media in north Bengal, said that a probe would be done by the Commission of Railway Safety.

“We will focus on what led to the accident and also see that such things are never repeated,” he said.

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