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Balasore Train Accident: Railways Suspends 7 Employees On 'Charges Of Dereliction Of Duty'

Railway authorities noted that the horrific Odisha train tragedy that killed as many as 293 people and injured over 1,200, could have been averted if officials were alert.

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Odisha Train Accident
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Days after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested three Railways personnel in the case related to the Odisha train tragedy for destruction of evidence and culpable homicide, seven officials were suspended on the charge of dereliction of duty, a top official said. The CBI had earlier arrested senior Section Engineer (signal) Arun Kumar Mahanta, Section Engineer Mohammed Amir Khan and Technician Pappu Kumar, who are also among those who have been suspended.

The horrific train tragedy killed as many as 293 people and injured over 1,200. South Eastern Railway’s General Manager Anil Kumar Mishra, told reporters, “Had the officials been alert, the accident could have been avoided.”  

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What caused the Balasore train accident?

A report by the Commission of Railway Safety (CRS) earlier reported that multi-level lapses led to the Odisha train accident. "Wrong signalling" was one among these. The report flagged "lapses at multiple levels" in the signalling and telecommunication (S&T) department and reiterated that the accident could have been prevented if corrective measures were taken after red flags were raised earlier. 

"Notwithstanding the lapses in signalling work, remedial actions could have been taken by the S&T staff if 'repeated unusual behaviour' of switches connecting two parallel tracks were reported to them by the station manager of Bahanaga Bazar, the spot of the accident," reported PTI, citing the CRS report.

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Additionally, the station-specific approved circuit diagram was not provided for repair-work near the site of the accident that was a "wrong step that led to wrong wiring". 

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