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Train crash: Injured drivers give their statements

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: June 06, 2023 01:04 IST
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The Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) on Monday recorded the statements of injured engine driver Gunanidhi Mohanty and his assistant Hajari Behera, who are undergoing treatment at All India Institute of Medical Sciences Bhubaneswar, officials said.

IMAGE: An Express train passes besides mangled compartments after Passenger train services resume on the section where the triple train accident happened on Friday, near Bahanaga Bazar railway station, in Balasore district, Monday, June 5, 2023. Photograph: Swapan Mahapatra/PTI Photo

Both were rescued from the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express that derailed near Bahanaga Bazar Station on June 2 that had claimed 275 lives and left around 1,200 injured.

Both the drivers are stable.

While Mohanty was taken out of the ICU on Monday, Behera is awaiting a head surgery, South Eastern Railway (SER) Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) Aditya Choudhury told PTI.


Families of both the drivers have appealed to all for privacy and allow them to recover physically and mentally.

They claimed that the drivers could not be blamed for the accident as they operated the locomotive according to rules.

Earlier, the Railway Ministry had apparently given clean chit to both of them.

The Commissioner Railway Safety, SER Circle, which began its inquiry into the accident on Monday, has recorded the statements of both of them, Choudhury said.

Sources said that a first information report (FIR) was registered at the Government Railway Police Station (GRPS), Balasore, under sections of the Railway Act on June 3.

On Sunday, the Railway Board had recommended a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the Balasore train accident.

Around 51 hours after the triple train crash and barely five hours after the damaged tracks were restored, a coal-laden goods train from Vizag port to Rourkela Steel Plant became the first to run on the route around 10.40 pm on Sunday night.

The first high speed passenger train -- Howrah-Puri Vande Bharat Express -- passed through Balasore on Monday morning through the same tracks, officials said.

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw was present at the accident site and waved to the drivers when the train passed through, the officials said.

The Odisha government has said it will bear the transportation cost of bodies of the accident victims to different states, Chief Secretary P K Jena said on Monday.

He said 170 bodies out of 275 have so far been identified in Balasore and Bhubaneswar.

Jena said, Arrangements for free transportation of the bodies by hearses to various destinations will be done to help the bereaved families.

He added that death certificates will be provided at the earliest and will be sent electronically or through speed post to the families of the deceased.

The state government has announced two toll-free numbers 18003450061/1929 to help those looking for their missing relatives who were travelling in the ill-fated Coromandel Express on June 2.

Three trains Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express and a goods train were involved in the pile-up on Friday, now being described as one of India's worst train accidents.

The Coromandel Express rammed into a stationary goods train and many of its carriages overturned including some onto another train - the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express which was also passing by at the same time on Friday.

Investigators are looking into possible human error, signal failure and other possible causes behind the three-train crash.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2023 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.