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Business News/ News / India/  ‘Our responsibility is not over yet…’ Ashwini Vaishnaw on finding missing people in accident

Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw expresses heartfelt concern for the families of missing individuals in the Odisha train accident, emphasizing the utmost priority to facilitate their swift reunification.

He emphasizes that their responsibility extends beyond the accident and remains committed to supporting the affected families during this difficult time. Ashwini Vaishnaw becomes emotional while discussing the restoration of services after the repair of damaged tracks.

Footage captured Ashwini Vaishnaw offering prayers on the sidelines as train services were reinstated on the down-line track at the accident site. The restoration work was completed within a remarkable 51-hour timeframe following the incident.

The recent incident on Friday, which involved three trains - the Bengaluru-Howrah Yashwantpur Superfast Express, Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, and a goods train - has been attributed to a technical malfunction in the signalling system. During a press briefing, Vaishnaw acknowledged that the primary cause of the incident was related to issues with the point machine and electronic interlocking system.

The failure of the electronic interlocking system, a complex signal system designed to prevent train collisions by regulating their movement on the tracks, has been identified as the underlying cause of this tragic incident. The collision sparked a political dispute, with opposition parties raising concerns about the government's implementation of safety measures such as the "Kavach" system.

The railway minister dismissed allegations that the accident was linked to the anti-collision system "Kavach" and contradicted the claims made by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that the incident could have been averted if the Kavach device was in place.

Odisha Chief Secretary PK Jena said his government has no intention to hide the deaths in the Balasore train crash and the entire rescue operation was being conducted in full public view. 

Reacting to allegations that the death toll figure was being manipulated, he said Odisha believes in transparency. "Media persons are very much present at the accident site since the beginning. Everything is being done in the presence of cameras," he said.

"The railways had stated the death toll as 288. We also said that, and the figure was based on information from the railways. But, our Balasore District Collector has verified the death toll, and the figure was 275 till 10 am of Sunday," he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Updated: 05 Jun 2023, 10:40 AM IST
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