Train accident involving Rayagada Passenger train: “Loco pilot was watching cricket match on phone”

Bhubaneswar: Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Saturday said that the tragic collision between two passenger trains on October 29, 2023, claiming the lives of 14 passengers, occurred as the loco pilot and co-pilot of one of the trains were engrossed in watching a cricket match on mobile phone.

The accident occurred when the Rayagada Passenger train collided with the Visakhapatnam-Palasa train from behind at around 7 pm on the fateful day at Kantakapalli in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh.

Vaishnaw cited this incident while discussing the implementation of new safety measures in the Indian Railways.

“The recent tragedy in Andhra Pradesh underscores the importance of ensuring the full concentration of train operators. We are introducing systems capable of detecting distractions to ensure that pilots and their assistants remain completely focused on their duty,” he told PTI.

While the official report by the Commissioners of Railway Safety (CRS) is yet to be made public, a preliminary investigation conducted by the railway authorities the day after the accident found the driver and assistant driver of the Rayagada Passenger train responsible for the collision. They were found to have disregarded two defective auto signals, resulting in the tragic accident, which claimed their lives as well.

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