Days after the Odisha triple train tragedy, Railway Board on Sunday, citing preliminary investigation, said there was some issue with the signalling and only Coromandel Express met with an accident in Balasore that claimed the lives of 275 passengers.
Addressing a press conference in the national capital, Jaya Varma Sinha, member of operation and business development, Railway Board said, "According to the preliminary findings, there has been some issue with the signalling. We are still waiting for the detailed report from the Commissioner of Railway Safety. Only Coromandel Express met with an accident. The train was at a speed of around 128 km/h."
In a major breakthrough in the tragic accident, she said that the goods train did not get derailed since it was carrying iron ores and had maximum damage on Coromandel Express.
"The goods train did not get derailed. Since the goods train was carrying iron ores, the maximum damage of the impact was on Coromandel Express. This is the reason for a huge number of deaths and injuries," said Jaya Varma Sinha.
She further said that derailed bogies of the Coromandel Express hit the last two bogies of the Yashwantpur Express.
"The derailed bogies of Coromandel Express came on the downline and hit the last two bogies of Yashwantpur Express which was crossing at the speed of 126 km/h from downline," she said.
Sinha said that the Railways first focused on relief and rescue work after the accident.
"Railways first did relief and rescue work after the accident and after that repair work is being done. There are four lines at Bahanaga station. It has two main lines. There was a goods train on the loop line. The driver had received the green signal at the station. Both vehicles were running at full speed," she said.
The official further said that the helpline number has been made available for the family members of the injured or deceased.
"Our helpline number 139 is available. This is not a call centre number, our senior officers are answering the calls and we are trying to connect as many people as possible. The family members of the injured or deceased can call us and we will make sure that they are able to meet them. We will take care of their journey and other expenses," said Jaya Varma Sinha.
Meanwhile, Odisha Chief Secy Pradeep Jena clarified that the death toll is 275 and not 288, it was checked and found that some bodies were counted twice.
"The death toll is 275 and not 288. The data was checked by DM and it was found that some bodies have been counted twice, so the death toll has been revised to 275. Out of 275, 88 bodies have been identified," Jena told ANI.
"Out of 1,175 injured, 793 have been discharged after treatment. The figure will be updated around 2pm," he added.
As per the Ministry of Railways, the restoration work is going in full swing and the officials are closely monitoring the restoration process at the accident site.
A manpower of over 1,000 people is engaged in the work. More than seven Poclain Machines, two Accident Relief Trains, and 3-4 Railway and Road Cranes are deployed, the ministry stated.