Odisha train tragedy: Questions raised on why Coromandel Express entered a ‘loop line’

Initial findings of a joint inspection report are ‘preliminary’, an official said.

WrittenBy:Prateek Goyal
Date:
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A preliminary joint inspection report on the Odisha train tragedy has indicated that the Chennai-bound Coromandel Express entered a “loop line” instead of the “main line”. This happened when the signal was “given and taken off” for the train to enter the “main line”.

As a result, it collided with a stationary goods train and derailed. In the meantime, the Howrah Express passed through the main line and two of its coaches derailed.

This report was the result of a preliminary investigation by railway officials. The accident involving the three trains took place around 6.55 pm on June 2. At least 288 are feared dead and over 900 injured.

The report said 21 coaches of Coromandel Express “were found derailed and some coaches found capsized”. Point 17A – referring to one of the points where a train is diverted from one track to another – was “found set up for loopline (in reverse condition)” at the Bahanaga Bazar railway station. 

A railway official told Newslaundry that the final investigation will “reveal many more things” and emphasised that the report is preliminary. The official said the “main question” is how the Coromandel Express entered the loop line and why point 17A was set up for that. 

“But these are initial observations,” he said. “Things will get clear gradually.”

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