The nation is in shock as news breaks of a devastating train accident involving the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express. The massive tragedy occurred on Friday, June 2. The death toll is at least 280, and over 900 people got injured. It is one of India’s deadliest train crashes in recent times.
Cause of the Coromandel Express Accident
The accident unfolded when the Coromandel Express, hurtling towards Chennai at a speed of 127 km/hour, collided with a goods train on the adjacent track. The impact caused the rear carriage of the Coromandel Express to derail and veer off onto a third track. To compound the horror, the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, traveling in the opposite direction on the third track, slammed into the derailed coaches.
Preliminary reports from the signaling control room of the railways suggest that human error may have led to the tragic accident. According to the officials, the Coromandel Express had taken the wrong track just minutes before the collision. A video from the signaling control room of the Kharagpur division of the Railways reveals that the Chennai-bound train had entered a loop line where the goods train was parked, instead of continuing on the main line. The real cause of this horrific accident will need further investigation.
Statements from Officials
Railway officials apprehend that human error might have caused the accident. They draw parallels to a similar accident that occurred in Firozabad, Uttar Pradesh, in 1995, where three trains collided, claiming the lives of around 350 people.
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Rescue Operation and Government’s Response
Rescue operations are currently underway at the accident site in Bahanaga Bazar near Balasore. Efforts are being made to retrieve those trapped in the derailed coaches, marking a race against time to save as many lives as possible. The Railway Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw, has ordered a top-level investigation into the incident. The idea is to find out the real causes and prevent such terrible incidents in the future. He also declared an aid of Rs 10 lakh to the deceased families. Rs 2 lakh to those with serious injuries, and Rs 50,000 to those who had minor injuries.
PM Narendra Modi will be visiting Balasore to inspect the situation. He will also meet people with injuries at the Cuttack Hospital.
The whole nation is mourning the loss of innocent lives and prays for the swift recovery of the injured. But the question remains. What should be the safety measures and protocols to stop such tragedies from happening? The Coromandel Express accident points out that there are loopholes in the safety measures and thorough investigation is required to prevent such incidents in the future.