Passenger train services have been restored at the Bahanaga station near Balasore in Odisha, where a triple train mishap occurred on Friday evening, resulting in the loss of at least 275 lives and leaving numerous people injured. Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, while flagging off the trains, stated that the services were resumed within 51 hours of the incident.
Efforts to Support the Bereaved Families
Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena assured arrangements for the free transportation of bodies by hearses or dead body carriers to their destinations, aiming to assist the grieving families who are already experiencing considerable trauma.
CBI Inquiry Announced
Minister Vaishnaw, who has been at the accident site since Friday evening, announced that the Railway Board has ordered a CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) inquiry into this tragic incident. However, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee questioned the effectiveness of a CBI probe and suggested that the Railway Safety Commission, which typically investigates such incidents, should handle the investigation.
“As a former Railway Minister, I had given CBI the responsibility to probe the Gyaneshwari Express accident, but there has not been any headway in the probe 12 years later. There is a Railway Safety Commission, who usually probes these incidents. The people should know the truth, and this is not the time to suppress news.
“I have no comments to offer as to what the Railway Minister is doing with regards to the investigation into the accident. Right now, I am more focused and interested in helping the families who have lost their loved ones and restoring the livelihood of those injured. There are still 120-odd dead bodies that are yet to be identified,” Banerjee said.
Diverse Opinions on CBI Inquiry
Former Railway Minister and Congress leader Pawan Bansal expressed his skepticism regarding handing over the accident investigation to the CBI, stating that there is no logical basis for such a decision. Meanwhile, Railway Safety Commissioner Shailesh Kumar Pathak visited the accident site on Monday to conduct an independent probe and determine the cause of the mishap. Pathak also visited the control room and engaged with the officials present during his visit.
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