Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 21 September 2023 9.26 PM IST

Odisha train mishap: Death toll rises to 288, report claims accident happened due to fault in signal


NEW DELHI: The train accident in Odisha's Balasore that killed 288 people is reportedly due to a serious fault in the signal system. The death toll could rise further. More than 50 people are in critical condition. More than 1000 people are injured and are in hospitals. As per reports, there are no Malayali deaths.

Railways has ordered a high-level inquiry into the mishap. The signal problem was pointed out in the preliminary report received by the Railway Board. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who visited the accident site, said that the culprits would not be spared.

There were 1257 reserved passengers on the ill-fated Coromandel Express and 1039 reserved passengers on the Howrah Express. The number of passengers in the general compartment is not available. Most of the victims of the accident were passengers in the general compartment.

Most of the passengers were workers coming from Bengal to Tamil Nadu and Kerala. West Bengal government confirmed 31 deaths in the state. 544 people are injured.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached the accident site around 3:30 pm on Saturday. The Health Minister and the Cabinet Secretary were instructed over the phone from the accident site to take necessary action. He visited the injured at Fakir Mohan Hospital in Balasore.

Signal failure: Possibilities

1.Trains were halted at two of the four-track station. Meanwhile, two trains can be seen reaching the station. The cause of the accident is believed to be a mistake on reaching the speed-controlled loop track. There are also claims that the Coromandel Express derailed and overturned onto the loop track.

2. Coromandel was signaled after the freight train was stopped on the loop track. A train which was supposed to proceed along the main line entered the loop track. If the train wants to enter the wrong loop, then the wrong signal has come. This could be due to an error when the track was switched

3. The point machine for adjusting the turnouts may not have worked properly. This can happen due to a fault in the wiring. Proper checks may not have been carried out after repairs

4. Coromandel Express was traveling at a speed of 130 kmph and Howrah Express at a speed of 116 kmph at the time of the accident. The loco pilots could not brake at the time of the accident


Rs 2 lakhs will be given to the kin of the deceased as ex-gratia from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund. Railways will give Rs 10 lakhs. Chief Minister Mamata will give 5 lakhs to Bengal natives. Chief Minister Stalin will give Rs 5 lakhs to Tamilnadu natives.

Fifty thousand from the Prime Minister's fund for the injured. Rs 2 lakhs by the Railways for those seriously injured. Rs 50,000 will be given for minor injuries. Rs 1 lakh from the state to the injured Tamil Nadu natives. Railway officials reached the hospital and started handing over financial aid to the injured.

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