Balasore train tragedy: Level crossing repair work done at Bahanaga Bazar station without approval, says CBI

06:03 PM Aug 24, 2023 | PTI |

Repair work at a level crossing near Bahanaga Bazar railway station in Odisha’s Balasore where the June 2 train crash took place was allegedly conducted without the approval of senior divisional signal and telecom engineer and without an approved circuit diagram.


The CBI made the submission before a special court in Bhubaneswar alleging that one of the reasons behind the accident was the repair work at level crossing (LC) gate number 94 near Bahanaga Bazar station done by Senior Section Engineer (Signal In-charge) Arun Kumar Mahanta using the circuit diagram of another LC gate no. 79, officials said on Thursday.

The allegations were refuted by Mahanta claiming that LC gate no. 94 at KM 255/11-13 had not been working properly, but the higher officials did not take ”active action” for the same.

He had said that the supervision work in question was entrusted to some other persons, hence he was not responsible for the accident.

The CBI had arrested Mahanta and two other railway officials on July 7, 2023 in connection with its probe in the Balasore triple train accident case in which 296 people were killed and over 1,200 injured.


The tragedy took place when the Coromandel Express crashed into a stationary freight train at Bahanaga Bazar station in Balasore district, and some of its derailed coaches collided with Yeshwantpur-Howrah Express, on June 2. A special CBI court in Bhubaneswar recently rejected the bail application of Mahanta, noting that material submitted by the CBI prima facie shows his complicity in the case.

”The typical circuit diagram of another LC gate no. 79 was being used at the time of execution of wiring work being done at North Goomty of Bahanaga Bazar railway station, for changing the operation of level crossing gate no. 94 from 110 volt AC to 24 volt DC,” the CBI has submitted before the court. It said as per the manual the present accused petitioner was to ensure that testing, overhauling and carrying out alterations to the existing signal and interlocking installations were in accordance with the approved plan and instructions. ”Further it reveals since no such steps were taken by the accused, it caused the accident and in the said accident more than 296 passengers were dead and many more passengers were seriously injured,” the court noted citing the CBI submissions.


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