Resucue work underway after an accident involving Coromandel Express, Bengaluru-Howrah Express and a goods train, in Odisha`s Balasore district, Saturday, June 3, 2023. (PTI)
The Railway Board on Sunday said that the Ministry of Home Affairs is assisting them in the rescue and investigation of the tragic train accident in Odisha's Balasore.
Member of Operation and Business Development in Railway Board, Jaya Varma Sinha said, "Not NIA, Ministry of Home Affairs is assisting us." He was addressing a press conference in the national capital, New Delhi on Sunday, ANI reported.
She said that at least two railway lines are expected to be operational by Sunday night, but as of now the reason of accident can't be authenticated.
"With restoration work underway, at least two railway lines are expected to be operational by 8 pm today at the site. We expect that trains will start running at a low speed. Inquiry is underway, we are investigating all angles. Prima facie it appears to be an issue of signalling, but we cannot authenticate anything as of now," she said.
The Railway Board member added that the top priority of the Railways is to make sure that the evidence and witnesses are not tampered or affected.
"Safety is the top priority for Railways. We are making sure that the evidence does not get tampered with and that any witness does not get affected. The driver of the train who sustained serious injuries said that the train moved forward only after it received a 'Green' signal. Neither did he jump any signal nor the train was overspeeding," she further said.
She had also said during the press conference that the goods train did not get derailed, but since it was carrying iron ores, the Coromandel Express suffered the maximum damage.
"The goods train did not get derailed. Since the goods train was carrying iron ores, the maximum damage of the impact was on Coromandel Express. This is the reason for a huge number of deaths and injuries," said Jaya Varma Sinha.
As per the Ministry of Railways, the restoration work is going in full swing and the officials are closely monitoring the restoration process at the accident site.
A manpower of over 1000 people is engaged in the work. More than seven Poclain Machines, two Accident Relief Trains, and 3-4 Railway and Road Cranes are deployed, the Ministry stated. (With inputs from ANI)