Cause, 'people responsible' for India train crash identified: Minister
Despite the relevant information being identified, the Railway Minister says it is "not appropriate" to give any other details before a final investigation report.
India's Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Sunday the cause and those accountable for the nation's worst train accident in decades had been identified, pointing to an electronic signal system without providing any other information.
"We have identified the cause of the accident and the people responsible for it," Vaishnaw told news agency ANI, adding that it was "not appropriate" to give any other details before a final investigation report.
The Hindustan Times daily reported on Sunday that the death toll rose to 294 with more than 1,000 injured in the horrific three-train crash, with the toll placed at 288 early Saturday.
Sudhanshu Sarangi, director general of the Odisha state fire department, affirmed the new toll. Meanwhile, more than 900 were also injured in the accident, as per media reports.
The "change that occurred during electronic interlocking, the accident happened due to that," a technical term noting a complex signal system made to stop trains colliding by arranging their movement on the tracks.
"Whoever did it, and how it happened, will be found out after proper investigation," Ashwini added.
Although the precise sequence of events remained unclear, media quoted railway officials as stating that a signaling fault had diverted the Coromandal Express, which was traveling from Kolkata to Chennai in the south, onto a side track.
It collided with a freight train, and the debris derailed an express that was passing the location on its way north from Bengaluru, India's tech hub, to Kolkata.
About 900 injured people had been hospitalized, according to Odisha state's chief secretary Pradeep Jena, who was quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying, "An unfortunate accident took place between Coromandel Express, a goods train, and another passenger train near Bahanaga Railway Station in Balasore district. Three National Disaster Response Forces teams have been dispersed and the rescue operation has started."
#BreakingNews from Orissa 👇👇— SNEHA TIWARI (@iam_tiwari) June 3, 2023
235 dead and many injured after Indian Railways' #CoromandelExpress collided with goods train last night in Bahanaga Near #Baleswar.
May God give peace to the soul of the deceased.
भारतीय रेलवे बालासोर ट्रेन #TrainAccident रेल मंत्री pic.twitter.com/9VcXNNSGPU