Published On: Mon, Jun 5th, 2023

CBI set to take over Balasore train accident case

New Delhi: The CBI is all set to take over the investigation in the Balasore train accident that left at least 275 people dead and 1,100 injured, officials said. In accordance with the procedure, the central agency will take over the Balasore GRP case number 64 registered by Odisha Police on June 3, a day after the accident in Odisha involving two passengers trains and a goods train.

We have recommended a CBI probe into the triple train accident that claimed 275 lives

The case was registered under IPC sections 337, 338, 304A (causing death by negligence) and 34 (common intention) and sections 153 (unlawful and negligent action endangering lives of Railway passengers ), 154 and 175 (endangering lives) of the Railways Act. It is likely to be allotted to Special Crime Unit at the Delhi Headquarters. According to the procedure, the CBI re-registers the local police FIR as its own case and starts the probe. It can add or remove a charge from the FIR in its charge sheet filed after the completion of its probe.

“We have recommended a CBI probe into the triple train accident that claimed 275 lives and left over 1,000 injured,” Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw told reporters in Bhubaneswar on Sunday evening. Railway officials have indicated that possible “sabotage” and tampering with the electronic interlocking system, which detects the presence of trains, led to the Friday accident.

The crash involving Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express and Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, which were carrying over 2,500 passengers, and a goods train laden with iron ore 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. As many as 21 coaches were derailed and severely damaged in the accident, trapping hundreds of passengers.

The Congress on Monday accused the BJP-led Centre of playing with the lives of railway passengers by not focussing on their safety and security and hit out at the railways for seeking a CBI probe, saying the agency is meant to investigate crimes and not train accidents. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying the probe agency cannot fix accountability for technical, institutional and political failures, a day after the railways sought a CBI probe into the tragedy in Odisha that claimed 275 lives.

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