CBI probe recommended into Odisha three-train collision, says Ashwini Vaishnaw
The railway board has recommended the probe related to the Odisha train accident to the CBI, announced railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.
Union railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Sunday said the railway board has recommended a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI into the horrific three-train collision in Odisha's Balasore district on Friday night in which more than 270 people died.
Earlier on Sunday, the railways virtually ruled out driver error and system malfunction, indicating a possible "sabotage" and tampering of the electronic interlocking system behind the triple train accident.
Vaishnaw said the "root cause" of the accident and the "criminals" responsible for it have been identified.
"It happened due to a change made in the electronic interlocking and point machine," he told reporters.
‘System is error-proof and fail safe but…’
Jaya Verma Sinha, a member of operation and business development of the railway board, said explained how the point machine and the interlocking system function.
She said the system is “error proof” and “fail safe” but did not rule out the possibility of outside intervention.
"It is called a fail safe system, so it means that even if it fails, all the signals will turn red and all train operations will stop. Now, as the minister said there was a problem with the signalling system. It could be that someone has done some digging without seeing the cables. Running of any machine is prone to failures," Sinha told reporters in New Delhi.
A senior railway official who did not want to be identified told news agency PTI that this kind of tinkering with the "logic" of the AI-based electronic interlocking system can only be “intentional” and ruled out any malfunction in the system.
“It could be a case of tampering or sabotage from within or from outside. We have not ruled anything out,” the senior railway official said.
The crash involving Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express and Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express and a goods train occurred around 7 PM on Friday near the Bahanaga Bazar station in Balasore, about 250 km south of Kolkata and 170 km north of Bhubaneswar.