The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken over the Odisha train accident case and has started its inquiry.
A team of the CBI, along with forensic experts, arrived in Balasore in Odisha and began the investigation after it registered the FIR on Tuesday.
The triple-train accident in Odisha's Balasore on Friday claimed 278 lives and injured over 1,100. The Coromandel Express crashed into a goods train, leading to several of its coaches getting derailed. These derailed coaches rammed into another passenger train running on an adjacent track, leading to some of its coaches also being derailed.
The CBI has taken up the case after the Railways recommended a CBI inquiry after ruling out driver error and over-speeding and hinting at the possibility of sabotage.
The CBI has re-registered the FIR originally filed by the Government Railway Police (GRP) under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Railways Act.
"The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a case on the request of Ministry of Railways, consent of the Odisha government and further orders from DoPT (Govt. of India) relating to the train accident involving Coromandel Express, Yashwantpur-Howrah Express and a goods train at Bahanaga Bazar in the state of Odisha on 2nd June, 2023," the CBI spokesperson said, as per PTI.
The PTI reported that the FIR took over the FIR registered by the Balasore GRP on June 3 under IPC sections 337, 338, 304A (causing death by negligence) and 34 (common intention), and sections 153 (unlawful and negligent action endangering lives of Railway passengers), 154 and 175 (endangering lives) of the Railways Act.
According to the procedure, the CBI re-registers the local police case as its own FIR and starts the probe, noted PTI, adding that it can add or remove a charge from the FIR in its charge sheet filed after its investigation.
The Balasore train accident has emerged as one of the worst in Indian history. It has emerged that there was an issue with the electronic interlocking system that's the "root cause" of the accident. However, what caused that issue is to be investigated by the CBI. Besides possible sabotage, the CBI would also look into the possibility of system failure and botched repair near the site of accident causing the issue.
Since the CBI has little expertise in dealing with the functioning of railways, the PTI quoted officials as saying that it may need the help of rail security and forensic experts to get to the bottom of the case.