Odisha Train Accident: Track Misalignment and Signal Synchronization Failure Blamed for Tragic Incident

A joint inspection report by railway officials revealed that incorrect positioning of track joints and a failure of signal synchronization may have caused the tragic train accident at Bahanaga Bazar station in Odisha. The accident resulted in over 268 fatalities and left 900 injured. The report stated that the Coromandel Express, intended for the mainline, entered a loop line where a goods train was parked, leading to a collision and derailment.

Odisha Train Accident: Track Misalignment and Signal Synchronization Failure Blamed for Tragic Incident

The tragic train accident that occurred at Bahanaga Bazar station in Balasore district, Odisha, resulting in the loss of over 268 lives and leaving 900 injured, is believed to have been caused by a combination of infrastructure failure and human error. The initial joint inspection report conducted by Kharagpur railway division officials indicated that the track joints were improperly positioned, and the signal panel in the station master's room failed to synchronize with them at Bahanaga Bazar station.

According to the inspection report, the Coromandel Express (train number 12841), originally intended to run on the mainline, mistakenly entered the loop line where a goods train was parked. The report revealed that the signal was given and taken off for the up main line, but the train ended up entering the loop line, colliding with the goods train and derailing. The report also highlighted that the locomotive (WAP7) pulling the Coromandel Express ended up perched on top of the adjacent goods train, though the exact cause for this remains unclear.

Video footage from the signalling control room of the Kharagpur division of Railways showed that the Coromandel Express deviated onto the loop line shortly after passing Bahanaga Bazar station. The track point 17A was set for the loop line, where the goods train was already stationed, contradicting the signal panel's indication that the Coromandel Express was assigned to the mainline at its maximum permissible speed of 130 kmph.

The collision between the Coromandel Express and the stationary goods train resulted in the derailment of 21 coaches from the Coromandel Express and caused three coaches from the Yeswantpur-Howrah Superfast Express (train number 12864) to derail as well. The accident occurred when the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, and a goods train were present in the vicinity.

The railway authorities have ordered a thorough investigation into the incident to determine the exact cause behind the sudden change in routing and the failure of the signal panel. The Odisha government and railway helplines have been established to provide assistance and support to the affected individuals.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced plans to visit the train accident site and the hospital in Odisha to assess the situation firsthand.

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