Bhubaneswar: The loco pilot and assistant loco pilot of the ill-fated Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express that rammed into a stationary goods train at the Bahanaga Bazar Station in Balasore district on Friday evening leaving at least 275 persons dead and over 1200 injured are alive and their health condition is stated to be stable.
Coromandel Express loco pilot Gunandhi Mohanty and assistant loco pilot Hajari Behera have suffered injuries and are under treatment in AIIMS-Bhubaneswar. Their health conditions are stated to be stable and out of danger, South Eastern Railway’s Chief Public Relation Officer (CPRO), Aditya Kumar Choudhury said.
He also informed that the health condition of the guard of the goods train is also stable.
Both the loco pilot and assistant loco pilot have given their preliminary statements about the incident, Choudhury said.
Railway Board member Jaya Varma Sinha had earlier said that the pilot moved forwards to the loop line as there was a green signal.
“We had spoken with the driver and he confirmed that the signal was green. Our staff is dedicated and works with dedication. He neither had passed when the signal was red, nor was over speeding. The driver sustained severe injuries and he said that the signal was green,” said Sinha in New Delhi.
According to Sinha, the data record (sealed record which is part of the investigation) also suggests that the signal was green.
Secondly, in every loco there is a speedometer and the chart which records the speed. The speedometer graph has been taken out and he (driver) was in his permissible speed limit. This is a high-speed section (130 kmph permitted) and the train driver was at 128 kmph, Sinha said
Meanwhile, Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety Shailesh Kumar Pathak visited the accident spot on Monday and said that Indian Railways Safety’s South-Eastern Circle has initiated their independent inquiry into the train accident.
“Commissioner of Railway Safety South-Eastern Circle has initiated their independent inquiry and as soon as the report will be completed, we will share the details. It is impossible and not correct to say anything with completion of the inquiry,” Pathak told media persons.
In a related development, the GRP has registered a case under Sections 337, 338, 304-A and 34 of IPC, 1980 and Sections 153, 154 and 175 of Railway Act 1989 following a complaint filed by Balasore GRP sub-inspector (SI) Papu Kumar Naik. In its FIR, the GRP mentioned negligence in part of the railways.
(With IANS inputs)