Balasore train accident: CBI files chargesheet against 3 railway employees

Balasore train accident: CBI files chargesheet against 3 railway employees


The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday (2 September) filed a chargesheet against three railway employees who were earlier arrested in connection with the Odisha’s Balasore train accident case. The arrested railway employees have been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder and destruction of evidence. 

The three arrested railway employees include senior section engineer Arun Kumar Mahanta, section engineer Mohammad Amir Khan and technician Pappu Kumar. They were arrested in July, a month after three trains met with an accident in Odisha’s Balasore. The CBI arrested them under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence or giving false information to screen offender) of the Indian Penal Code for their role that led to the tragic train accident on 2 June.

During the investigation, the agencies confirmed that error and negligence on the part of the Signal and Telecommunication department staff led to one of the most deadly train accidents in the history of Indian Railways. 

As per the CBI allegations, Mahanta did the repair work at the level crossing gate number 94 near Bahanaga Bazar station by using the circuit diagram of LC gate no. 79. 

It is further alleged that he did not carry out his duty which was to ensure that testing, overhauling, and carrying out alterations to the existing signal and interlocking installations were in accordance with the approved plan and instructions.

Earlier in July, Indian Railways suspended seven employees for negligence of duty including three who were arrested by the CBI officials. These suspended employees included the station master, traffic inspector, telecom engineer, and four signalling staff. It was alleged that they were not alert during duty hours which otherwise would have avoided the train accident. The suspension order was reportedly issued on Friday, the 7th of July.

The accident took place, on June 2, when the Chennai-bound Coromandel Express entered the loop line at the station instead of going straight on the main line. Subsequently, it rammed into a stationary goods train at full speed. Its derailed coaches hit the Yesvantpur Superfast Express which was just passing the station. 

It was evident that the signalling was wrongly set for the train at the station. This triple train accident at Bahanaga Bazar station near Balasore in Odisha claimed 293 lives and injured over 1,200 passengers.


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