Odisha train accident

 Odisha train accident 

Death toll has neared 300, over 800 people have been injured in a triple train collision that occurred on Friday evening.

Nearly 300 people were killed and over 800 have been injured in a horrific train derailment that occurred on Friday evening at around 7 pm in Odisha's Balasore. The derailment of 10 to 12 coaches of the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express caused them to fall onto the opposite track. Subsequently, the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express collided with the derailed coaches, leading to the derailment of three to four of its own coaches. Adding to the tragedy, a goods train was also involved in the crash.

Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced on Saturday that he has ordered a high-level probe into the derailment. "The accident was unfortunate, and the rescue operation began shortly after the incident was reported to his ministry," the minister said, as quoted by ANI. The railway ministry has announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 10 lakh to the kin of the deceased, Rs. 2 lakh to those severely injured, and Rs. 50,000 to those who sustained with minor injuries.

How Did The  Odisha train accident Happen.

The first train, the 12841 Coromandel Express, had started from Shalimar station in Kolkata/Howrah and was headed to Chennai. It had crossed Kharagpur and Balasore, and its next stop would have been Bhadrak. The train was running almost exactly on time, and would have crossed Bahanaga Bazar (without stopping) at 7.01 pm.

There is the Up Main Line (towards Chennai), the Down Main line (towards Howrah), and two loop lines on the two sides. The purpose of a loop is to park a train on the side so that the main line is left clear for a faster or more important train.

As the Coromandel approached, the loop line was occupied by a goods train going in the same (Up) direction. The Coromandel was supposed to go past it on the main line.

According to the short brief on the accident issued by the Railways, “Up Train No. 12841…passing through Up Main Line…dashed with stationary Goods Train in Up Loop Line… The train was going at full speed across the station as it was not supposed to stop at the station…”

It is obvious from the brief that the Coromandel, instead of going past the goods train on the main line, entered the loop and smashed into the goods train from the rear. Pictures from the spot show the Coromandel’s locomotive perched atop the goods train.

Locomotive drivers are guided by signals, not so much by what they see on the tracks, especially in the dark. While details will be known after the inquiry, the Railways are looking at the possibility of a signalling error, sources have told The Team. A multi-disciplinary joint inspection by supervisors has concluded that a green signal was given to the Coromandel to pass through on the designated main line, and then the signal was taken off. The train entered the loop line, and rammed into the goods train. “We…after careful observation, came to the conclusion that signal was given, and taken off, for Up main line for 12841, but this train entered into Up loop line and dashed with goods train which was on Up loop line and derailed,” says a note prepared by the joint inspection team. However, it must be noted that trains are gigantic masses of steel, hauled by enormously powerful engines. The railway brief says the Coromandel was going at “full speed”, which could be around 100 km/hr. At that speed, even after the application of emergency brakes, a train would not come to a halt before perhaps a couple of kilometres. At the same time as the Coromandel hit the goods train, a third train, the 12864 Sir M Visvesvaraya Terminal Bengaluru-Howrah Express, was going past on the adjacent Down main line, headed towards Howrah (in the opposite direction). Most of this train had already crossed the point of the accident when the Coromandel crashed into the goods train. However, the last few coaches were impacted. These derailed — either because they were hit by coaches of the Coromandel that toppled on to them, or because of the shock waves that could have passed through the ground and the tracks.


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