New Delhi, June 3 () Minutes before the horrific train accident in Odisha’s Balasore in which 288 people lost their lives, the Chennai-bound Coromandel Express entered the loop line and then hit a stationary goods train, preliminary investigation has revealed.
According to the preliminary report, the Coromandel Express entered the loop line and crashed into a goods train parked there instead of the main line, just ahead of the Bahanaga Bazar railway station.
The report claimed that the coaches of SMVP-Howrah Superfast Express capsized after crashing into the coaches of Coromandel Express that had scattered on the adjacent track after hitting the goods train.
In the conclusion of the preliminary investigation report prepared by a team of railway officials, it is revealed that the signal for Coromandel Express was given for passing through the up main line and then taken off for up main line with the goods train which was on the up loop line.
It also said that in the meantime, SMVP-Horwah Express passed through on down mainline and two coaches of it were derailed and capsized.
The report, however, does not mention the reason why the signal was given and taken off for the Coromandel Express.
The report has been submitted to the Railway Board, sources said.
However, senior officials remained tight-lipped to share more details on the preliminary report shared with the Railway Board.
Meanwhile, a railway source said that it was a case of “mechanical error”. The source said that how this mechanical error happened will be found in the detailed inquiry that the Railway Board has ordered.
In one of the deadliest train accidents in over two decades, at least 288 passengers died after 21 coaches of the two trains derailed on Friday evening.
Friday’s accident brought back the memories of the deady collision between Purushottam Express and Kalindi Express in Uttar Pradesh’s Firozabad on August 20, 1995, which claimed the lives of 358 people.
In a similar accident on August 2, 1999, Brahmaputra Mail collided with Awadh-Assam Express near Gaisal in Assam, killing approximately 290 people.