'Railways ko chaupat kar diya’: Lalu Prasad on three-train crash in Odisha
The accident in which three trains rammed into each other in Odisha's Balasore district killed at least 290 people and injured nearly 1,000.
Rashtriya Janata Dal chief and former railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav on Saturday alleged that negligence and lack of alertness led to such a large number of casualties in the three-train mishap in Odisha's Balasore district on Friday evening.
Without naming anyone, the former Bihar chief minister said “they have destroyed (chaupat) the railways”.
The accident in which three trains rammed into each other in a rapid sequence of events in Balasore district killed at least 290 people and injured nearly 1,000 in one of the country's worst railway tragedies. The number of casualties might increase in the three-way train accident involving the Bengaluru-Howrah superfast Express, the Coromandel Express and the goods train on three separate tracks at Bahanaga Bazar Station.
"I have travelled on the Coromandel Express. It's a very important train. The manner in which they showed negligence and didn't show alertness led to such a large number of casualties...There should be a high-level inquiry and action should be taken against those responsible for it...There was major negligence, they have destroyed the railways," news agency ANI quoted Prasad, who was the Union railway minister between 2004 and 2009, as saying.
What have preliminary investigations revealed?
A “mistaken” signal likely led to the Coromandel Express entering the line on which a goods train was parked a few metres ahead, eventually resulting in a three-train accident in Odisha’s Balasore that has killed 290 people and injured 900, according to a preliminary probe by senior railway officials. The report also said the line on which the two trains collided was “partially corroded”.
The coaches of Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express capsized after crashing into the coaches of Coromandel Express that had scattered on the adjacent track.
While Coromandel Express was at a speed of 128 kmph, Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express was running at a speed of 116 kmph. The report has been submitted to the Railway Board, news agency PTI claimed.
The loop lines of the Indian Railways are constructed in a station area - in this case, the Bahanagar Bazar station - to accommodate more trains to ease out the operations. The loop lines are generally 750 metres in length to accommodate full-length goods train with multiple engines.
The two trains were carrying around 2,000 passengers. At least 261 people have been killed in the accident and nearly 1,000 injured.