DIBYANGSHU SARKAR / AFP
Police officers inspect carriages destroyed by Friday’s dramatic three-train collision near Balasore in the Indian state of Odisha.
INDIA – The final mysteries around India’s deadliest train disaster in decades are beginning to be unraveled. This Sunday, June 4, the Indian Minister of Railways, Ashwini Vaishnaw announced that a problem in the electronic switching system was at the origin of the tragedy which led to the death of at least 288 people.
“We have identified the cause of the accident and the people responsible for it”also assured Ashwini Vaishnaw to the news agency ANI this Sunday, adding that he was not “not appropriate” to disclose more details before the final investigation report.
According to the minister, “the change that occurred during the electronic switch is the cause of the accident”in reference to the complex computer system managing traffic on Indian railways to prevent trains from colliding.
“The culprit and the manner in which the accident occurred will be discovered after a proper investigation”, he later clarified. ” No Responsible “from the accident will not be spared, promised Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, hoping to get out” of this sad moment as soon as possible”he told the public broadcaster Doordarshan.
” Human error “
The first conclusions of the investigation have not yet been made, but the Times of Indiaciting a preliminary investigation report, said on Sunday that a ” human error “ signaling may have caused the collision between three trains.
The Coromandel Express, linking Calcutta to Madras, had been given the green light to run on the main track but was diverted to a track where a freight train was already located, according to the newspaper.
The passenger train then crashed at a speed of about 130 km / h into the convoy of goods, near Balasore, about 200 kilometers from Bhubaneswar, the capital of the eastern state of Odisha. India. Three carriages then fell onto the adjacent track, hitting the rear of an express train which was operating between Bangalore and Calcutta. It was this collision that caused the most damage, adds the Times of India.
An assessment still uncertain
The provisional toll of the collision between three trains which occurred on Friday reported at least 288 dead. However, the human toll could be much higher and reach 380 dead, according to the chief executive of the Odisha State Fire Service, Sudhanshu Sarangi.
Especially since many families of victims continue the search to find their loved ones who are still missing. On Saturday, rescue operations at the site of the train disaster were completed, an emergency official said.
Meanwhile, Odisha State Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena confirmed that around 900 injured people had been hospitalized.
According to Arvind Agarwal, manager of a temporary morgue set up in a high school, the bodies are “mostly unrecognizable” after more than twenty-four hours of scorching heat at the scene of the accident. “So the biggest test (for the families) is the identification of the bodies”, he adds. Arwind Agarwal has already warned the families that they will probably have to undergo DNA tests to help identify the corpses.
At this stage, this train accident is the deadliest in India since 1995, when two express trains collided in Firozabad, near Agra, which is home to the Taj Mahal, killing more than 300 people.
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