Bhubaneswar: The tragic accident involving three trains that claimed at least 238 lives in the Balasore district of Odisha has raised questions on railway safety and operational lapses.
Two collisions between three trains happened at the spot of the accident between 6.50 pm and 7.10 pm on Friday. The Coromandel Shalimar Express derailed after hitting a parked goods train and another train, and the Yesvantpur-Howrah Superfast, collided with the derailed coaches. Seventeen coaches of the two trains were severely damaged.
The impact was so hard that coaches were lifted high into the air before they smashed onto the tracks. One coach was tossed on its roof.
The question is how the Coromandel Shalimar Express was on the same track as the stationary goods train. It can be a technical snag or a human error. The possibility of a signal error cannot be ruled out.
The Railways Ministry’s anti-collision system “Kavach” which alerts when a train jumps a signal (Signal Passed at Danger – SPAD), was not available on the track where the accident occurred.
The worst-affected parts of the Coromandel Express were the Sleeper class coaches, which are usually packed as during the holidays.
The Railways Ministry has ordered a probe into what may have caused the crash. Hope the probe will find out the reason behind the back-to-back crashes between three trains at the same spot. The reason behind this major accident has to be eradicated soon to make railway journeys safer in India.