At least seven railway officials including the three arrested in the triple train accident in Odisha’s Balasore have been suspended over their ‘involvement and negligence’ in the tragedy, reports emerged on Thursday.
South-Eastern Railway General Manager (GM) Anil Kumar Mishra said, “Principal chief safety officer suspended the seven for dereliction of duty after the CBI probe team arrested three of them. The step was taken over the lack of alertness of the Bahanaga Bazaar station master, traffic inspector and maintainer. The tragic train mishap could have been averted had they been alert during duty hours.”
On July 7, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested three Indian Railways employees in connection with the horrific accident that claimed over 290 lives while leaving several others severely injured.
The arrestees were identified as Senior Section Engineer Arun Kumar Mahanta, Section Engineer Md Amir Khan and Technician Pappu Kumar. They had been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder and destruction of evidence.
Reports stated that the three employees were charged with the culpable homicide not amounting to murder as ‘they had knowledge’ that their results might result in this tragedy.
Notably, several coaches of the 12864 Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, on the way to Howrah, derailed and fell on an adjacent track. The 12841 Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express coming from the opposite direction on a parallel track rammed into the derailed coaches. Some Coromandel Express coaches derailed and hit the stationary goods train on the third track.
The horrific train accident on the night of June 2 claimed the lives of nearly 300 people and left over 900 injured. The train crash, the fourth deadliest in India according to available records, happened near the Bahanaga Baazar station in Balasore district, about 250 km south of Kolkata and 170 km north of Bhubaneswar.