A 10-member CBI team reached the site of the triple train accident in Bahanaga station near Balasore in Odisha on Tuesday.
According to sources from the central agency, the team of central sleuths has compiled a list of railway workers who were on duty at the station during both the morning and night shifts, as well as those who were on leave on June 2.
According to a press statement issued by the CBI, the agency has registered a case based on the request of the Ministry of Railways, with the consent of the Odisha Government and further orders from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) of the Government of India. The case pertains to the train accident that occurred on June 2, 2023, involving the Coromandel Express, Yesvantpur-Howrah Express, and a Goods train at Bahanaga Bazar in the State of Odisha.
The CBI has assumed control of the investigation previously registered at Balasore GRPS, District Cuttack (Odisha) under GRPS Case No. 64 dated 03.06.2023, pertaining to the mentioned accident. A team from the CBI has arrived in Balasore, Odisha, and the investigation is currently underway.
Aditya Chowdhury, the Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of South Eastern Railways, stated that they are fully cooperating with the central agency and providing them with all the requested documents.
Meanwhile, during a media interaction, Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena provided an updated death toll on Tuesday, stating that 288 individuals lost their lives in the collision. The accident involved the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express, Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, and a goods train.
Jena further mentioned that out of the 288 bodies, 205 have been successfully identified and subsequently returned to their respective families.
On the other hand, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, accompanied by her ministers Chandrima Bhattacharya and Sashi Panja, visited Odisha to personally see the patients from Bengal who are undergoing treatment there.
Mamata Banerjee, after meeting the injured individuals from the train tragedy at SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack, expressed to the media, "Truth must not be suppressed, considering the loss of several lives. This is not a time for arguments. Our focus is on helping people."
Mamata also informed that out of the identified bodies, at least 103 of them belong to Bengal. Additionally, she mentioned that 97 individuals are currently receiving treatment, while 31 people are still reported as missing in connection to the incident.
TMC minister Chandrima Bhattacharya who visited AIIMS, Bhubaneswar expressed their observations, stating, "You can witness the efforts of the Bengal government. Our Chief Minister had arrived earlier, and she is presently in Cuttack. We are closely monitoring the identification process of the bodies. Our officials are also present here. The Odisha government, Railways, and we are working together on this."