Government officials have revealed that the derailment of the Coromandel Express in Odisha’s Balasore on Friday was the result of deliberate interference with railway equipment. A senior railway officer told The Economic Times that such an accident could only have occurred through a deliberate attempt.
The incident occurred while the Bengaluru-Howrah Express and the Coromandel Express were running parallel on separate tracks at speeds exceeding 120 kmph. Both trains had received green signals, leading the train operators to believe that there were no obstructions ahead. However, the tracks on which the Coromandel Express was traveling had been redirected towards a stationary goods train, causing the collision.
The Government Railway Police (GRP) has registered a First Information Report (FIR) in connection with the accident, stating that the investigation will determine the specific railway employees responsible for the incident. Charges of ‘causing death by negligence’ are being investigated.
Additionally, the Commissioner of Railway Safety (South Eastern Circle) is conducting a statutory inquiry to establish the cause of the accident and identify responsible officers. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will also investigate whether any criminal intent was involved.
In response to the incident, the Railways has ordered a comprehensive review of its signalling systems. All 19 railway zones, including the dedicated freight corridor, have been instructed to submit reports on deficiencies and irregularities in signalling equipment by June 14. Priority is being given to checking the signalling equipment within station limits to ensure their proper functioning.