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Change in electronic interlocking system causes Odisha train accident, says Vaishnaw; Toll 275

Change in electronic interlocking system causes Odisha train accident, says Vaishnaw; Toll 275

Bhubaneswar, June 4 (UNI) Attributing the cause of Friday's horrific train accident at Bahanaga to the change in electronic interlocking system, Railway Minister Ashwani Vaishnaw said the people responsible for the accident have been identified, while Odisha Chief Secretary P K Jena on Sunday confirmed the toll at 275.
Jena said the toll was put at 288 on Saturday due to the counting of a body twice and some other errors during counting.
The correct figure for the toll of 275 is known after repeated scrutiny, he said adding out of 275 bodies so far 88 have been identified.
The Chief Secretary said 170 bodies were brought to Bhubaneswar for identification and subsequent handing over those to the kins and relatives of the deceased, while the process is on to bring 17 more bodies.
He said, out of 88 bodies, 78 have already been handed over to their relatives and efforts are on to hand over the rest 10 bodies to their relatives.
Meanwhile, talking to media persons, the Railway Minister said the root cause of the accident has been identified and the people responsible for the accident have been identified.
Vaishnaw said the inquiry into the Bahanaga train accident is over and the Rail Safety Commission will soon submit its report.
He said the accident occurred due to a change in an electronic interlocking system and action will be taken against the guilty based on the report.
He said restoration work at the Bahanaga Railway station is going on war footing.
Vaishnaw, who is present at the mishap site and personally supervising the restoration work since Saturday, said a target has been fixed to complete the restoration work and normalise the movement of the train by Wednesday morning.
Around 1,000 workers are engaged in the restoration work.
The Shalimar-Chennai Cormondel Express Collided with a goods train and Bengaluru -Howrah Superfast Express on Friday evening
at Bahanaga railway station in the Balasore district.
As many as 21 mangled coaches were removed from the track late on Saturday night in the presence of the Railway Minister.
The track is cleared and at present work is to lay a new track of around 1000 metres length completely damaged in the accident.
Work is going on also to repair the electric poles and fix the overhead wire.
Meanwhile, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the latest situation, particularly on the treatment of the injured.
Patnaik has assured that all possible steps have been taken to save the lives of injured passengers in different hospitals in Odisha.
The doctors, medical students are doing their best they can to save lives. Doctors, students and common people are coming forward to donate blood for the injured persons, he said.
Stating that 'Every Life is Precious,' he said, " Starting from the rescue operation to carrying injured to hospitals, making arrangements for treatment, we are leaving no stone unturned to save lives. "
Patnaik also announced an ex-gratia for the victims.
The assistance will be given from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.
The next of kin of the deceased will get assistance of Rs 5 lakh and those who sustained serious injuries will get Rs 1 lakh as assistance.

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