An error in the electronic signaling system caused a train to derail and crash into a freight train in eastern India, killing 275 people and injuring hundreds. The accident occurred on Friday night in Balasore district in Odisha state, and is one of the deadliest rail disasters in decades. The passenger trains were not overspeeding and the collision flipped the coaches onto another track, causing an incoming train from the opposite side to derail. The root cause of the crash was related to an error in the electronic signaling system, and a detailed investigation will reveal whether the error was human or technical.
As stated by NPR, a deadly train crash occurred in eastern India, killing 275 people and injuring hundreds. The derailment was caused by an error in the electronic signaling system that led a train to wrongly change tracks and crash into a freight train. The incident occurred in Balasore district in Odisha state, making it one of the country’s deadliest rail disasters in decades.
Authorities are currently working to clear the wreckage of the two passenger trains that derailed on Friday night. An Odisha government statement revised the death toll to 275 after a top state officer put the number at over 300 on Sunday morning. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to reporters.
Jaya Verma Sinha, a senior railway official, stated that preliminary investigations revealed that a signal was given to the high-speed Coromandel Express to run on the main track line. However, the signal later changed, and the train instead entered an adjacent loop line where it rammed into a freight loaded with iron ore. The collision flipped Coromandel Express’s coaches onto another track, causing the incoming Yesvantpur-Howrah Express from the opposite side also to derail.
The passenger trains, carrying 2,296 people, were not overspeeding, As stated by Sinha. Trains that carry goods are often parked on an adjacent loop line so the main line is clear for a passing train. Sinha said the root cause of the crash was related to an error in the electronic signaling system. She said a detailed investigation will reveal whether the error was human or technical.
The electronic signaling system is a critical component of railway safety. It controls the movement of trains by sending signals to the train’s control system, indicating when to stop, slow down, or speed up. The system also ensures that trains maintain a safe distance from each other to prevent collisions.
The Indian railway system is one of the largest in the world, with over 67,000 kilometers of track and more than 7,000 stations. The system carries over 23 million passengers daily and is a crucial mode of transportation for millions of people. However, the system has been plagued by safety issues, with frequent derailments and accidents.
In 2017, 146 people were killed when a train derailed in Uttar Pradesh state, making it the deadliest rail accident in India in over a decade. The incident was attributed to track maintenance issues and human error. The government has since launched several initiatives to improve railway safety, including the implementation of a new signaling system.
The Balasore district derailment highlights the need for continued efforts to improve railway safety in India. The incident is a tragic reminder of the consequences of inadequate safety measures and the importance of investing in infrastructure and technology to prevent future accidents.
Taking everything into account, the deadly train crash in eastern India was caused by an error in the electronic signaling system. The incident highlights the need for continued efforts to improve railway safety in India and prevent future accidents. The government must prioritize investing in infrastructure and technology to ensure the safety of millions of passengers who rely on the railway system.