On Friday, Indian police announced that they had apprehended three men in connection with a tragic train collision that occurred last month. This incident resulted in the loss of nearly 300 lives, making it one of the most devastating rail accidents in the history of the country.
In June, there was a train crash in eastern Odisha state. It happened because a crowded passenger train was accidentally directed onto a different track and collided with a stationary goods train carrying iron ore.
The compartments that derailed ended up hitting the carriages of another fast train, the Howrah Superfast Express from Bengaluru, which happened to be passing by in the opposite direction.
According to a statement from the Central Bureau of Investigation, three railway employees have been charged with culpable homicide and destruction of evidence in a case filed against them on Thursday.
The statement mentioned that the men were employed with Indian Railways, specifically as two signal engineers and one technician. However, it did not provide any additional information about them.
When the collision happened, there were over 2,000 passengers on board the two passenger trains.
The carriages were completely flipped over, and rescue workers were rushing to free survivors who were trapped in the twisted wreckage. There were many bodies covered with white sheets next to the tracks.
The family members dedicated several days to carefully going through their loved ones’ belongings and examining photographs taken after the accident, all in an effort to identify the victims.
The collision left at least 850 other people injured.
India’s railway minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw, stated that the accident occurred due to a problem with the signalling system. He also mentioned that the individuals accountable for the incident have been identified. This announcement was made a few days after the accident took place.
However, he chose not to provide more information at that moment, explaining that he didn’t want to interfere with the ongoing government investigation into the disaster.
The train services started running again 51 hours after the tragic crash. Vaishnaw was there, folding his hands in prayer, as he witnessed the first train pass by the site of the accident.
The Indian Railways is an extensive rail network, ranking as the fourth-largest in the world. It operates approximately 14,000 trains every day, utilizing around 8,000 locomotives. The tracks span an impressive distance of about 64,000 kilometers (40,000 miles).
According to official figures, the network carries over 21 million passengers every day. This puts a lot of pressure on the network, especially considering that the country has recently become the most populous in the world.
In recent years, India has made significant investments to improve its rail network. They have allocated large amounts of money to upgrade the infrastructure, introduce express trains, construct modern railway stations, expand the tracks, and implement electronic signalling systems.
The crash that happened in June is considered to be the third-worst in India’s history. It is also the deadliest since 1995, when 300 people lost their lives in a collision between two express trains near Agra, which is known for being the home of the Taj Mahal.