Signs of ‘deliberate interference’ in electronic interlocking system led to CBI probe recommendation
New Delhi: Under fire from the Opposition, including the Congress, for recommending a CBI probe into the Balasore train accident that led to the death of 275 passengers, government sources on Monday indicated that it was a case of “deliberate interference” in the system that came to the fore during the preliminary investigation, thus necessitating an investigation by a professional agency.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had on Sunday said that the Railway Board has recommended a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into Friday’s horrifying accident which left 275 people dead and over 800 injured.
He also said that the accident happened due to a change in electronic interlocking.
A government source on Monday here said that the need for a CBI probe even when the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) was already probing the incident, as the officials who were part of the preliminary investigation indicated the need for a more thorough investigation by a professional agency having expertise.
“Lots of information has come during the course of the investigation. Various kinds of information has been made available which required a professional investigative agency,” the source said.
The accident in which a speeding Coromandel Express crashed into a stationary goods train on the loop line instead of travelling on the main line, indicated issues with the electronic interlocking system which changed the route of the train leading to the collision.
The source said, “Unless there is deliberate interference in the system, it is impossible that a route set for the main line is switched to the loop line.”
The ministry had earlier ruled out driver error or a malfunction in the interlocking system, and said that all angles are being probed extensively to come to the exact conclusion how this happened.
The Congress has been demanding the resignation of Vaishnaw for the horrific train accident near Odisha’s Bahanaga Bazar station, where 21 coaches of Chennai-bound Coromandel Express and Howrah-bound SMVP-Howrah Superfast Express derailed and led to death of 275 people and leaving over 800 injured.