Odisha train tragedy: The Railway Safety Inquiry Commission has found that “wrong signalling” was the main reason behind the Balasore accident and flagged “lapses at multiple levels” in the signaling and telecommunication department.
Reports indicate that the tragedy could have been avoided if previous red flags had been reported.
The independent inquiry report submitted to the Railway Board by the Commission of Railway Safety (CRS) said that despite lapses in the signaling work, the S&T staff would have been asked if “repeated abnormal behaviour” of the switches connecting two parallel tracks had been reported. Remedial action could be taken by To them by the station manager of the accident site Bahnaga Bazar.
The report also suggested that non-supply of station-specific approved circuit diagrams for the works to replace the electric lifting barrier at level crossing gate 94 at Bahanaga Bazar station was a “wrong step which led to incorrect wiring”.
It added that a team of field supervisors modified the wiring diagram and failed to replicate it.
The report also states that a similar incident took place at Bankarnayabaz station of South Eastern Railway’s Kharagpur division on May 16, 2022, due to wrong wiring and cable fault.
“Had corrective steps been taken after this incident to address the issue of incorrect wiring, the accident at BNBR would not have occurred,” the report said.
In the accident on June 2, 292 people died and more than 1000 people were injured.
The CRS report also said that the initial response to such a disaster should be swift and advised the Railways to review the system of disaster-response in Zonal Railways and coordination between Zonal Railways and various disaster-response forces like NDRF . SDRF.
The report concluded that the rear-end collision occurred during the execution of signaling work related to a “signalling-circuit-change failure” and replacement carried out on the northern signal ‘Gumti’ in the past. Electric lifting barrier for level crossing gate 94 at station.
“As a result of these defects, train number 12841 received wrong signal…as a result of which train 12841 ran on up loop line and ultimately collided with the goods trains parked there,” it added.
The CRS has recommended that a drive should be initiated to update the signaling wiring diagrams, other documents and lettering on completion of the signaling circuits at the site.
Standard practices should be followed for performing signalling-rectification work. It also states that any changes to the signaling circuit must be made with an approved circuit diagram and in the presence of an officer.
It also suggested that a separate team should be deputed to examine and test the modified signaling circuits and works before restoration and reconfiguration.
,With inputs from PTI,